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IAA brings content creators, advocacy groups on gender issue

Top advertising creative minds ‘VoW’ to play a stronger role in gender sensitisation

 BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 18, 2013

(Left) Zoya Akhtar and Shyam Benegal (Right)
(L-R) Mandira Bedi, Rupal Tyagi and Ajay Bhalwankar – Head of Programming, Zee TV

The International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter organised a one-day sensitisation seminar here on ‘Violence against Women’ (VoW). The initiative saw the coming together of advertising heads, advocacy groups and film and television personalities.

Srinivasan Swamy, President, IAA, India Chapter, said, “We are delighted to have been able to bring together people from television, feature films and advertising. The people who are content creators hopefully have been sensitised in the way they think about portraying women in various forms of content. I do believe the seminar went well and over all it has been a satisfying day.”

Monica Tata, Honorary Secretary, IAA, who also moderated the discussion, said, “IAA’s initiative has been a resounding success. It was put together with an objective of highlighting the need of gender sensitivity across media platforms, be it advertising, television and films. I think we have managed to make a great start. I hope we are able to continue with the same fervour in the months to come.”

Comments by speakers:

Prof Anjali Monteiro, Professor & Dean, School of Media & Cultural Studies, TISS: “Violence against women is a matter of the exercise of patriarchal power. We need to affirm the rights of women to dignity, to access public space and to be agents of their own making.”

Anuja Gulati, United Nation Population Fund: “Education and skills would help empower women and bring them into leadership roles leading to gender equality.”

Dr AL Sharada, Programme Director, Population First: "It is really encouraging to see the response of the advertising fraternity to the issue of projection of women in advertisements. Often communication is influenced by the internalised gender issues and perceptions. If we have more opportunities to dialogue and discuss the message, we would be able to make advertising more gender sensitive. I believe VoW is a very positive step in this direction.”

Sangeetha Narasimhan, Executive Creative Director, RK Swamy BBDO: “Content in media and advertising does have an impact on people’s view on women. So content creators need to deal with the subject of women at all times with affection in the heart and put aside lust. Only then will we begin seeing some degree of positive movement in attitudes to women.”

KV Sridhar (Pops), National Creative Director, Leo Burnett: “Ignorance is the worst enemy. The advertising community needs to be more sensitive. It can’t afford to be damaging to society.”

Josy Paul, Chairman & National Creative Director, BBDO India: “I am evolving in my effort to be more sensitive. I am trying to create a new reality, where brands evolve with deeper sensitivity, where equality and inclusion are part of greater growth and a better world.”

Geeta Rao, Creative Director, Geeta’s List: “Communication is critical and gender sensitisation is imperative in advertising. Sensitisation does not mean sanitisation, sensitisation does not mean glorification, we have to find ways to break stereotypes in an engaging way.”

Sonal Dabral, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra: “The only way we in the media industry can become more responsible and sensitive towards gender portrayal issues is by stopping, reflecting and acting with conscience. For this reason VoW is a wonderful effort and it has been a privilege being a part of this initiative.”

Rupal Tyagi, lead protagonist of Zee TV’s show ‘Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke’: “I am glad that the programming content is changing and this is being accepted by the people. This acceptance is the reason for becoming number 1 show across Hindi GECs. Here’s hoping for a more positive change.”

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