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Marta Martín Llaguno

Limiting market driven freedom of expression for a public problem resolution. Sexist advertising regulation in Spain – lights and shadows ten years later

Gender-based violence, particularly violence against women (VAW) -and more specifically intimate partner violence (IPV)-, has grabbed public attention in recent decades. Assuming the relationship between public discourse and IPV, many societies have given the media a prominent role in its solution. So, they have enacted regulations affecting these institutions, and more specifically advertising discourse, to eradicate stereotypes and promote prevention campaigns.
The Organic Act on Integrated Protection Measures Against Gender Violence from 2004, which modified the General Advertising Act to establish "that it was unlawful all commercial communication to consider women in a vexatious manner" by (i) using direct and particularly her body, or parts of it, detached from the advertised object (reification) or (ii) use her image related to stereotyped behaviors that help to produce gender violence. The Act also included a National Plan for IPV prevention, having information and awareness campaigns on this issue.
Thus, in Spain the regulation of advertising sexism has been emphasized, limiting -in a sense- market driven freedom of expression in favor of a fundamental right: gender equity. Yet, there are many problems in the implementation of the law. This paper presents a critical review with some lights and shadows on its existence.


Marta Martín Llaguno, Full Professor of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising of the UA. PhD in Information Sciences from the University of Navarra. She directs the research group "Communication and Knowledge Society" and she is a member of the competitive group "Public Health". Her research focus on health communication, the re-construction of social problems (with special attention to gender) and fundamentals and ethics of communication. She has published fifty articles, six monographs and manuals and participated in more than twenty competitive projects (European, national and regional). Her latest research (focused on sexism and communication), received the finalist nomination at "Angeles Duran" award and the prize of the Economic and Social Council of Valencia (2014).

Llaguno has been a visiting professor at the University of Piura (Peru), at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires, a visiting researcher at IESE Business School, the City University of New York (USA) and Glasgow Caledonian University (UK). At present she is a member of the Jury of Advertising Self-Control, a columnist for the Informacion newspaper (Editorial Moll, Iberian press) and contributor to the radio talk shows of Ser (Alicante) and Es.radio.

Recent publications:
Article: Vertical and Horizontal Segregation in Advertising Agencies Before and After the Law for Equality of Women and Men
Marta Martín-Llaguno, Marián Navarro-Beltrá
Reis 01/2015; DOI:10.5477/cis/reis.150.113 · 0.20 Impact Factor

Article: Laws on gender violence and their effect on sexism in advertising: a comparative analysis of advertisements from Argentina, Mexico, Spain and the United States.
Marta Martín-Llaguno, Marián Navarro-Beltrá
Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 04/2013; 33(4):280-286. DOI:10.1590/S1020-49892013000400007 · 0.85 Impact Factor

Article: Bibliometric Analysis of Research on Women and Advertising: Differences in Print and Audiovisual Media
Marián Navarro-Beltrá, Marta Martín-Llaguno
Comunicar 07/2013; 21(41):105-114. DOI:10.3916/C41-2013-10 · 0.47 Impact Factor

Sidansvarig: Christine Forssell|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-06-30

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