20 February 2012 - 8:05am | posted by | 32 comments

Intelligent street ads to distinguish between men and women

Intelligent street ads to distinguish between men and womenIntelligent street ads to distinguish between men and women

An electronic hoarding which utilises facial recognition technology to distinguish women from men is to be launched this Wednesday.

Located at a bus stop on London’s Oxford Street the £30k display will dynamically alter its message depending on the gender of the passer by.

Women will be treated to a 40 sec plug for children’s charity Plan UK which is promoting its “Because I’m a Girl” campaign to ensure girls in the developing world receive an education.

Men on the other hand will be directed to the organisations website in an attempt to show them what it means to be stripped of “basic choices”.

Clear Channel UK achieved the technical wizardry by way of a camera which calculates the probability of the gender it is looking at by measuring key facial features such as the distance between the eyes, nose width and cheekbone shape.

Plan UK chief executive Marie Staunton said: "We're not giving men and boys the choice to see the full ad on this occasion - so they get a glimpse of what it's like to have basic choices taken away."

Comments

20 Feb 2012 - 18:34
devon15967's picture

Have you ever heard such rubbish in all your life. So the women see the video, while men are redirected to the website to pay for it.... GROW UP.

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:24
piggy16319's picture

@devon15967 its because people it is supposed to get people to empathize with discriminated people by discriminating men and women.... just saying... :/

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:41
myenk19985's picture

@devon15967 Exactly! I'm a girl, and I think this is ridiculous. They want to end sexism....by USING sexism. Because that makes so much sense.....

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:30
delta11508's picture

Haha I think that is the point devon... to illustrate discrimination in the developing world (and developing) towards women. If you, as a man, are worked up over this little thing.... well, I can only imagine you as a male in another time, another place :)

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:44
myenk19985's picture

@delta11508 So your argument is, because men were sexist before, their descendants should pay for it now? That's just as bad as sexism towards us. Equality's a two-way street

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20 Feb 2012 - 21:03
delta11508's picture

@myenk19985 Er no... that's not my argument at all. Men aren't sexist before.. they STILL ARE. In the developed world too. And you would be blinkered if you think otherwise. Equality is indeed a 2 way street, but let's face facts, white straight men are the "privileged" class in this country - always has been - and whilst not descending to developing world levels, the sexism has never gone away. Sexist remarks, no matter how casual, are commonplace. Rape is common. Conversely, even the whole preferential treatment to women is sexist.

Of course there are many discriminatory policies AGAINST men, ie. child custody, maternity leave etc. - but for a privileged group in society to even BEGIN to understand how it feels to be discriminated, they have to go through it. Although I wouldn't say not being able to watch a 40 second ad is "paying for it"???

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21 Feb 2012 - 15:59
irgeo29040's picture

@delta11508

You are a sick individual who has never learnt to see the world through anything other than your mother's eyes. You see virtually nothing else besides women's suffering and woman's pain and you could give a rat's a'#&!@ the open and obvious discrimination that men experience in this country [and in the Third-World] every day. It has got the stage were men are about to explode with a rage that will echo for centuries to come. The revolution that will inevitably come will completely shred the very fabric of this society before it is finished.

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21 Feb 2012 - 15:40
irgeo29040's picture

@delta11508

You are the one who is off the planet. Men and boys bleed just like women and girls. Are you really proposing that men and boys in the Third-World who are starving don't suffer as much as women and girls. Isn't it amazing how these oppressed Third-World girls will get to live five years longer on average than the "privileged" boys.

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22 Feb 2012 - 15:25
jabbo58840's picture

@irgeo29040

You seem to have your finger on the pulse of things gender. This article does seriously need balanced views.

Here's one:

"The Greater Outrage for Female Victims of Governments’ Brutality Perpetuates Risk to Both Sexes" at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-greater-outrage-for-f...

Here's another that illustrates the dangers of thinking only women have gender-based problems:

"The Doctrinaire Institute for Women's Policy" http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-doctrinaire-institute...

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:38
yvonn75574's picture

What about the trans community ?? Our facial features are of our previous assignation not of our gender!! This means that a trans women with all her appropriate documentation will have a machine telling her shes a man !!! This is, in fact, against the law. This advert must be stopped before it starts!

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20 Feb 2012 - 19:42
myenk19985's picture

@yvonn75574 I can imagine :(

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20 Feb 2012 - 21:05
delta11508's picture

@yvonn75574 Ugh. I suppose many black and white women have a right to complain on racism grounds, as many have hard features that can be mistaken for men?

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20 Feb 2012 - 20:10
yvonn75574's picture

I have lodged a complaint with Plan UK and the ASA about this breach of privacy and infringement of the Sex discrimination act .. and possible breach of transphobic laws too ! ..

THIS IS WRONG on so many levels !

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20 Feb 2012 - 20:18
dudle91674's picture

@yvonn75574 Agreed, I have also complained.

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20 Feb 2012 - 20:13
dudle91674's picture

This isn't "Challenging discrimination", it "IS discrimination". The way to stop people being idiots is not to be just as much of an idiot back.

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20 Feb 2012 - 21:08
delta11508's picture

@dudle91674 Normally I would agree with that logic, but it clearly isn't working. Sexism (admittedly on both sides, on different things) is still prevalent, even after decades of education and "soft" persuasion. This one, shock trick of putting out the case... it's another way of making people not affected by discrimination to see the other side.

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20 Feb 2012 - 20:19
lukev40366's picture

Ideally it would redirect men to the Yorkie website. Everyone happy!

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20 Feb 2012 - 20:35
prdib94241's picture

Whilst I see what they are trying to do here, two thoughts occur to me..

1) You don't solve discrimination by enacting it. 2) That's an awful lot of work to halve your potential audience.

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20 Feb 2012 - 21:31
windo97952's picture

So as I am a man they don't want my money??? No problem there then... I'll give it to an organisation that does not discriminate in anyway (and I do).

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20 Feb 2012 - 21:43
prdib94241's picture

Just another quick thought. If this machine is 90% accurate does that mean it will imply that 1/10 men look like women, or that 1/10 women look like men?

In some ways it's worse than sexual discrimination, it's discrimination based on what gender it assumes you are, based on a set of pre-defined 'norms'.

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20 Feb 2012 - 22:03
devon15967's picture

When i suggested earlier that men would pay for it. i meant with their lives. NOT MONEY.. who do you think will go into these countries like Af-stan, Somalia etc. By the way, as an average white guy i really do NOT feel like iam the most privilaged in society. A tiny few at the top does not make us all privilaged. Oh how privilaged the average white woman is.. A million miles away from the people who will star in the silly sexist advert.

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21 Feb 2012 - 00:07
joshu66596's picture

It's sexism to the extreme if it was the other way around it wouldn't have never made it to the bus stop!

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21 Feb 2012 - 02:59
gypsy97276's picture

I think this is a very interesting idea. Yes, defining each person by their "supposed" gender could cause some upset - as is clear by the past comments - but doesnt that happen every single day in every single situation anyway..? As much as we would all like to believe we are gender blind and treat everyone as equals, we don't. And isnt that the whole idea of the advert? To highlight that very fact? The design of an advert that looks at your face and tells you if you are a man or a woman is probably not the best thought out plan ever to be put in place..especially as the only person who could ever give such definition is yourself. But I think the basic message is spot on. Men are more priveledged and mostly they don't even realise it. They don't even notice it. So something even as basic as an advert that says, "actually, no, you don't have the right to watch this" may poke some thought into peoples heads.. Well done Plan, you do wonderful work. I just don't understand why you would spend £30,000 on an advert that probably won't get so many people to donate money...

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21 Feb 2012 - 03:34
prdib94241's picture

@gypsy97276

Thing is, as I posted on a similar article on here, there was a 'science' in the Middle Ages called Physiognomy, where people analysed facial structure and could 'decide' what sort of person they were from measuring things like forehead height, nasal width etc. This technology sounds ominously like that.

Secondly, the advertising group want to expand on this system to, by their own description, "target things like hair colour". Can you imagine walking past a billboard in a crowded shopping area and having it announce that your roots are showing and you need more hair dye? Or that you are overweight and need to start eating a specific brand of health food? It sounds more like trying to humiliaite someone into buying a product than anything else.

Whilst I fully understand and support what Plan UK are doing for women across the world, I find this technology and its possible repurcussions disquieting to say the least.

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21 Feb 2012 - 10:23
davey10502's picture

I am a Marketing Analyst and I find this technology is very exciting to me, I think a few commentors have missed the point of this article completely. It will effectively double the coverage value of a space for gender specific products, men usually dont want to buy handbags and women don't usually want to buy shaving foam.

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21 Feb 2012 - 10:15
Hughm15655's picture

Come on everyone why are you so serious?! This is an original and innovative campaign idea to get people talking about a serious issue. I bet the technology doesn't work perfectly, who gives, the main thing is that it's raised awareness for the cause.

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21 Feb 2012 - 10:38
yvonn75574's picture

Davey10502, no the idea is to SHOW discrimination (they say) !! Not double the ad space.. its you who have missed the idea. In any case men DO by handbags (as presents mostly) and women DO by foam ! (I use a depilatory instead as foam dries the skin and plain water is better anyway !) .. but the machine is not 100% accurate so it will offend the ones it gets wrong . In any case it is not splitting by "gender" (a state of the mind) but by so called "norms" of sex ( the body) .. and it can never get it 100% .. no matter how long they work on it as people are not duplicated they are created .. and nature does not care for "norms" imposed by marketing gurus or software programmers. It just creates ..

No two snowflakes are the same nor are fingerprints or retina scans but this machine wants to split everybody into two neat groups. But by their own admission its only 90% accurate EVEN with "normal" people. Why do you think we have all the laws to STOP discrimination in the first place ?? This idea would have been great in Victorian times (had the technology been available) .. but today it is totally wrong and should be stopped.

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21 Feb 2012 - 10:41
devon15967's picture

Type the word sexism into google and within the top 3 results is sexism against men. Not women. Check out this link http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/descrim.htm and get ready for some shocking statistics.. Lets see the adverts in the streets about this one... I dont think so....

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21 Feb 2012 - 11:12
precu16991's picture

no person in their right mind should accept this BS, this is very stupid and potentially dangerous technology

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21 Feb 2012 - 11:51
laura96351's picture

I'm with Davey10502 on this one.

OK, this campaign is to show discrimination and that's a powerful thing to play with, as proved by the comments on this article, but I do think people like devon15967 and yvonn75574 are blowing it completely out of proportion.

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21 Feb 2012 - 13:28
amand12384's picture

In my experience, there is usually a queue @ a bus stop - how does the technology choose which victim to home in on? It could go into meltdown. Also, how many people are going to be offended by being shown the wrong version?!

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21 Feb 2012 - 15:47
irgeo29040's picture

What will PLAN UK being doing next? Will they only have advertisements that can be seen by Aryans?

Imagine if they had used facial recognition technology to exclude Jews or Africans from seeing their adds.

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