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MEDIA RELEASE: With violence against women on the rise, comedians target beer-drinking, sports-betting ‘Aussie Bloke’ ad stereotype in new gender equality campaign

Women's Health Victoria 2 mins read

Launching today, comedians Alex Lee and Lewis Garnham take aim at harmful
gender stereotypes in advertising – a new Women’s Health Victoria campaign.

shEqual, Women’s Health Victoria’s advertising equality project, has today released ‘Commercial Breakdown’, a new campaign shedding light on the dangerous gender stereotypes currently showing in Australian ads.

In the midst of Australia’s current crisis of violence against women, advertisers continue to broadcast harmful stereotypes about masculinity. Advertising continues to be highly influential in shaping society and - importantly - men’s’ attitudes and behaviours towards women.

‘Commercial Breakdown’ is a Gogglebox-style video featuring well-known comedians Alex Lee and Lewis Garnham, who call out the harmful messages they see in recent Australian ads. While women are stuck at home, cooking, cleaning, caring and shopping, ‘the Aussie Bloke’ is out with his mates, in the great outdoors, sports-betting, beer-drinking, crypto-punting and winning. They’re never at home.

The message is loud and clear: ‘the Aussie bloke’ is telling Australians that excitement, fun and success are all found outside the house, in the spaces where women aren’t welcome.

Yet, 2 in 3 men believe there is a mismatch between how they feel about success and how advertising portrays it. The 2023 Price of Success report studied 4,000 men in the UK & US. It showed that for most men, winning isn’t everything, and advertising makes them feel worse about themselves.

‘Commercial Breakdown’ encourages Australians to have a conversation about the harmful gender stereotypes they see in ads, and to support brands and agencies to create ads that contribute to a better Australia.

See the campaign video here:

Quotes from Lauren Zappa, Manager Gender Equity and Capacity Building, Women’s Health Victoria:

"The average Australian is exposed to thousands of ads a day, so what happens in those ads matters. That’s because advertising is a powerful multi-billion-dollar industry that exists only to influence us. We want to give people the tools to challenge gender stereotypes and to support brands that promote authentic, respectful, and diverse portrayals of all Australians."

"Most ads still feature young, white, able-bodied, cis-gendered and heterosexual people, leaving many in our community unseen and unrepresented."

Available for interview:

  • Lauren Zappa, Manager Gender Equity and Capacity Building, Women’s Health Victoria (Melbourne, VIC)
  • Jess Lilley, Campaign Creative Director, The Open Arms (Melbourne, VIC)
  • Alex Lee, comedian (Sydney, NSW)
  • Lewis Garnham, comedian (Melbourne, VIC)

About us:


shEqual is an initiative by Women’s Health Victoria, supporting industry and community to understand the role of advertising in creating a better, safer, and more equal world for all people. Visit:

About Women's Health Victoria

Women’s Health Victoria is a statewide, feminist, non-profit organisation working with government, the health sector, and the community to improve health outcomes for women (cis and trans inclusive) and gender diverse people. We advocate for healthcare rights and access, deliver health promotion resources, and operate vital information and support services, so that all Victorians have the opportunity to access optimal health and wellbeing, free from bias and discrimination. For more information, visit

Contact details:


Jane Metlikovec 0409 539 880

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