Work & Wellbeing Mental Health Sexual Harassment

Senior creatives band together for campaign confronting ad industry sexual harassment


By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

January 12, 2022 | 4 min read

A group of senior creatives have come together to create a series of ads that aim to ​​challenge and confront the sexual harassment and misogyny young adlanders face in the industry every day and show them where and how they can get support.

The Change Collective

The Change Collective are speaking out against the toxic culture of sexual harassment within advertising

Called The Change Collective, the group comprises senior creatives, photographers and PR experts who are frustrated at the lack of support for women, sexual harassment victims and the NDA culture within the industry that allows perpetrators of this behavior to remain in positions of power, despite their wrongdoing.

The collective wants to open the industry's eyes to the bleak fact that some people who are in positions of influence can remain impervious to the abuse.

Inspiration for the campaign drew on the personal experiences of those involved in its development, and features two photographs viciously twisting the trope of welcome gift bags that new recruits to the industry often receive from HR.

On first look, the bags look like a fun, harmless welcome package. However, on closer inspection the alarming reality of the items is revealed.

The bag for women features items such as: an evidence bag for collecting DNA after a sexual assault; a dictaphone to record abuse, threats and gaslighting incidents; and antidepressants to counteract burnout and poor mental health.

The male bag includes: a megaphone to call discrimination; a copy of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 so the law is known; and a timer to prevent men dominating speaking time in meetings.

Each ad also features contact numbers and direct helpline information for Nabs, Equality Advisory Support Service and Rape Crisis, which has a webchat that people can use.

Concerns are shared across the industry that a return to offices and hybrid working will see a spike in sexual harassment, highlighted in another campaign by industry group TimeTo.

A senior creative and member of The Change Collective, said: “The sexual harassment and misogyny people face daily within the industry is frustratingly and depressingly all too common. The work comes from a place of sad truth and bitter experience and we collectively as experts in our field who love what we do, wanted to find a way to try and protect our community.

Another, added: “Too many times have we remained silent, turned a blind eye or made excuses. We want to let every person know if they ever experience any sexual harassment that we stand with them and there is support available and they dont have to feel like we felt when it happened to us.”

Work & Wellbeing Mental Health Sexual Harassment

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