No One Needs the Government to Protect Them from Stereotypical Ads

People pass in front of a Volkswagen logo ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai, China April 15, 2019. (Aly Song/Reuters)Consumers can solve this problem without the state getting involved.

Britain has banned two television ads under new rules that ban “gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious widespread offense” — and that’s stupid and unneccessary.

One of the ads, from the local Volkswagen branch, showed men “engaged in adventurous activities,” and two women sleeping in a tent and sitting by a baby carriage, according to the regulators. The other ad was a Philadelphia cream-cheese ad that showed two fathers in a restaurant who were apparently “unable to care for children effectively.”

Advertising Standards Authority investigations manager Jessica Tye told the New York Times that both ads could potentially lead to “real-world harms” and even affect children’s career choices.

According to the Times, both companies were “disappointed” in the rulings, and Volkswagen even pushed back — arguing that the ad depicted women “taking part in challenging situations,” including “what is surely life’s greatest and most valuable role — raising another human being.”

The thing is, though, I’m actually not going to take a stance on

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