Adverts which encourage gender stereotypes like women cleaning up after their family, or men failing to do housework, face being banned in the UK under strict new watchdog rules.
Following a year-long inquiry the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has developed a set of tougher standards on adverts which portray "potentially harmful" gender stereotypes.
From next year the new rules, which will now be finalised by the Committee of Advertising Practice, will be used to ban inappropriate adverts.
The ASA found there was evidence to support stronger rules on the basis that harmful stereotypes "can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults".
Controversial adverts by the UK arm of Gap, KFC and Protein World, all of which received a number of complaints last year, are examples of those which could be affected by the crackdown.
The new standards will not ban all stereotypes, such as women cleaning or a men doing DIY jobs. But adverts that depict scenarios such as a woman having sole responsibility for cleaning up her family's mess or a man trying and failing to do simple parental or household tasks are likely to be banned, it said.
The ASA's report also said campaigns suggesting a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, and vice versa, could be banned.
A poster for Protein World, a slimming product aimed at women, caused a stir last year after an advert stated "Are you beach body ready?" and featured an image of a toned and athletic woman wearing a bikini.
Despite receiving over 300 complaints last year it was not banned by the ASA, however it is thought that such an advert may not be allowed under the new rules.
Another potentially problematic advert is KFC's recent TV advert which featured two men sitting in a restaurant discussing the televisions they had purchased. The first character stated: "I just bought a 56" plasma" to which the second responded "Awww, adorable. I just bought the 90. Because I'm a man."
The first character then stated "It's ultra-HD" with the second responding "Did it come free with your scented candles?"
After a third character sat down with the product being featured, the first character stated more aggressively "You know those candles help with my anxiety... You're a monster".
The majority of complainants objected that the ad was offensive because it implied that it was acceptable to make fun of a mental health problem, with some claiming it was irresponsible because it equated anxiety with a lack of masculinity and helped perpetuate the damaging view that men shouldn't admit to mental health concerns.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: "Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people.
"While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole."