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UK Ad Uses Facial-recognition to Target Women

By - Source: Plan UK | B 24 comments

A billboard ad that's only full visible to women.

If you spend a lot of time online, you're probably used to seeing targeted ads that are relevant to you. Offline is a different story. If you commute to work, on any given day you probably see at least 10 ads that don't interest you in the slightest. However, a company in the UK has launched a special ad campaign that shows viewers a different ad based on their gender.

Plan UK's latest ad aims to raise awareness about its 'Because I am a Girl' campaign, which highlights the fact that 75 million girls around the world are not in school. The ad is a billboard that uses a HD camera and facial recognition software to determine whether the viewer is male or female. Female viewers will see a full length ad with information on Plan's work to help some of the world's poorest girls. Men and boys are denied the choice to view the full content in order to highlight the fact that women and girls across the world are denied choices and opportunities on a daily basis due to poverty and discrimination. Instead, male viewers will be directed to Plan UK's website for more information.

Only Girls Allowed

The gender facial recognition advert will be trialled at an Oxford Street bus stop opposite Selfridges for a two-week period and will be opt-in in that viewers will have to approach the bus stop before it scans their face. Though it's quite not an ad served to you based on your specific interests, it represents an interesting development for offline advertising. Who knows, in a few years, we could all be seeing personalised ads based while out and about.

Display 24 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    joeblogs , February 25, 2012 9:43 AM
    They are trying to say that gender discrimination is wrong by not letting men to see the whole ad? Anyone else see a problem with that?
  • 16 Hide
    pyoverdin , February 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    Apparently for these people the solution to uneducated girl's problems is anti-male sexism.
  • 14 Hide
    billybobser , February 25, 2012 10:58 AM
    I'll start my own ad campaign... with blackjack and hookers!
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    Thunderfox , February 25, 2012 9:13 AM
    Rather stupid. If you think your message is important to get out, this is the wrong thing to be using this sort of technology on. Now all you've done is ensure that any man who might have given it a thought won't even get the chance. If you want to make it draw women's attention, just make it pink.

    On a lighter note, how would this thing have responded to Michael Jackson?
  • 10 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 25, 2012 9:13 AM
    they use facial recog to determine gender? what if dame edna shows up?
  • -3 Hide
    kcorp2003 , February 25, 2012 9:35 AM
    "75 million girls around the world are not in school" that includes 3rd world countries? i mean it's not like they got a choice that they can afford it. (lazy dads?). Which is sad. Also female ideology is so fascinating to study. I once got hit in the groin for not doing the right thing. uh i can sometime still feel that pain.
  • 16 Hide
    joeblogs , February 25, 2012 9:43 AM
    They are trying to say that gender discrimination is wrong by not letting men to see the whole ad? Anyone else see a problem with that?
  • 14 Hide
    billybobser , February 25, 2012 10:58 AM
    I'll start my own ad campaign... with blackjack and hookers!
  • 0 Hide
    doorspawn , February 25, 2012 11:56 AM
    Hopefully the ad serves both purposes - to make people aware of appalling sexism in much of the world, and to make people aware of the problem of discriminatory technology.
  • 16 Hide
    pyoverdin , February 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    Apparently for these people the solution to uneducated girl's problems is anti-male sexism.
  • 3 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , February 25, 2012 12:44 PM
    illegal in my country. there's a thing called privacy that it still respected.
  • 2 Hide
    K2N hater , February 25, 2012 1:08 PM
    de5_roythey use facial recog to determine gender? what if dame edna shows up?

    Lawsuit.
  • -1 Hide
    warezme , February 25, 2012 1:22 PM
    __-_-_-__illegal in my country. there's a thing called privacy that it still respected.
    say hello to Peter Pan for me.
  • -1 Hide
    SoiledBottom , February 25, 2012 1:30 PM
    "UK Ad Uses Facial-recognition to Target MEN"

    Walking down the street all men will see these adds, porn, sports, beer, porn, Viagra, hard liquor, penis enlargement, porn and divorce attorneys
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , February 25, 2012 1:34 PM
    K2N haterLawsuit.


    Hehe, good one.

    What about a couple ?

    I can see the heads at Google spinning now.
    Laptops...build in cam.. if we turn that on we can see who in the family is using it and bingo... VERY targeted Ads :-)
  • 1 Hide
    ramon1 , February 25, 2012 2:36 PM
    pyoverdinApparently for these people the solution to uneducated girl's problems is anti-male sexism.


    Yeah, it seems sexism, just like sexist stereotypes, is ok as long as men are the targets.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 25, 2012 5:12 PM
    Facial recognition isn't perfect. I'd love to see the reactions when women are directed to Plan UK's website and men are shown the full Ad.

    And if this was to be inverted, man shown the ad and women diverted then the company will be sued and the creators humiliated, fined and/or jailed and made to do a public apology for discrimination and denial of service on gender bias.
  • 1 Hide
    CKKwan , February 25, 2012 8:51 PM
    The latest trend in the market is.... You can't even tell if it is a he / she by looking at their outlook / dressing.
  • 2 Hide
    carnage0651 , February 25, 2012 9:29 PM
    Im all about equal oppertunity...this sexist add is contributing to the problem. Lets make it totally equal... the best canidate gets the opertunity reguardless of race sex or any of that other sillyness. People are people, work for what you want in life and you will be rewarded.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 26, 2012 12:31 PM
    to all the guys outraged that this ad is sexist and that they dont get to see it: thats the point.

    its supposed to give you a little taste of how frustrating it is to be denied something, but apparently instead of empathising, you've completely missed the point and just act all self entitled.

    admit it though, if it was just another "give to charity" advert, you'd have switched off entirely.
  • 0 Hide
    maxwebb , February 26, 2012 1:16 PM
    omg this is the epitome of ignorant. this shows a complete lack of understanding of discrimination, not teach it. a fine relational example would be... if the u.s. would create a law stating that the white folk are mandated to continue working... without pay... to teach them what it felt like to be a slave.

    that's not teaching about discrimination... that is discrimination. if they wanted to teach discrimination they would convey the idea of an example, not demonstrate it. it seems the only thing that they are 'teaching' is punishment by associative guilt and how to stereotype.

    the world would co-exist so much easier without extremists such as this.
  • 1 Hide
    maxwebb , February 26, 2012 1:22 PM
    billybobserI'll start my own ad campaign... with blackjack and hookers!


    anyone capable of blending in a futurama reference in context deserves a thumbs-up.
  • 0 Hide
    keyanf , February 26, 2012 1:29 PM
    Not sure how you can use a sex difference (facial structure, absence of facial hair) to determine a metal identification (gender).
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