X Close

Institute of Education Blog


Expert opinion from academics at the UCL Institute of Education


'Can’t flip the bus stop over': researching gender and public advertising in London

Blog Editor, IOE Digital21 August 2018

Kaitlyn Regehr and Jessica Ringrose
We met Sierra, a single mother of two, at Kennington tube station in South London. Sierra identifies as Black British, and walks using two sticks, due to limited mobility. On this rather windy day, she moved slowly but deliberately across the street to meet us before gesturing to the bus stop.
The advertisement situated on the bus stop, pictured here, was for American Apparel and featured a large-scale image of a woman in Caucasian flesh coloured underwear and the tagline ‘We’re Back. To Basics.”
Sierra stopped in front of the advert stating she was quite “shocked” and further:
I thought they [American Apparel] really couldn’t be so bold to put something like that on an advert for children to see, for adults to see, and I find sometimes that adverts can be quite sexual and it seems like they seem to be advertising more for sex than actually for the actual product…
Sierra was one of the women we met because, as part of the Mayor of London’s 2018 #BehindEveryGreatCity gender equality campaign, Professor Jessica Ringrose had been commissioned to conduct research on women’s experiences of London’s public advertising. The research report launched this summer, was entitled The Women We See: gender and diversity in advertising, and drew upon (more…)