Abstract: The paper deals with the problem of advertising representation, and in particular, with negative advertising representations of women, from several standpoints: the policy views of the EU, the Council of Europe and the UN; the relationship of representation to social reality (its truthful reflection or distortion); and the possibility of overcoming negative gender stereotypes by codes of conduct and through media education and awareness-raising. Several key issues relevant to the advertising representations of women are highlighted: the influence of media / advertising images in a negative direction (stereotypical and sexist images legitimize gender discrimination, undermine human dignity, etc.) and in a positive one (media and advertising can be an effective tool to fight discrimination through positive examples); the problem of whether images are realistic (i.e. how well they correspond to changes in female roles in society) and diversified (i.e. covering a range of different roles); and the need for tools that will be effective in changing the negative situation.
Key words: representation, advertising, media literacy, codes of conduct, distortion of social reality, European Union, Council of Europe, Beijing Platform for Action, gender stereotypes.
Rhetoric and Communications Е-Journal, Issue 9, July 2013, http://rhetoric.bg/, ISSN 1314-4464