Bumble's cyberflashing campaign helped ensure it was included in the Online Safety Bill
Hope and Glory for the dating app Bumble won at The Drum Awards for PR 2022 for its #CyberFlashingIsFlashing campaign. Here, we find out how Bumble shone a much-needed light on the issue of unwanted dick pics.
Bumble's 'Cyberflashing' campaign
As part of Bumble’s brand proposition to be the safest dating app for women, it decided to tackle one of the dating app's ugliest issues, dick pics. Bumble’s campaign was a call to the government to class sending unwanted nude pictures as the same as physical indecent exposure.
Bumble wants legislation to be introduced for cyber flashing to be made a criminal offense the same as indecent exposure. Women are constantly being sent explicit images of male genitalia on social media and messaging apps yet it’s not treated the same as physical flashing. Bumble mounted a campaign to change this.
Hear what the winners had to say about their award-winning work above.
Hope and Glory executed the brief in several ways. Firstly, it had to frame the issue by finding data to support how widespread cyber flashing is. The campaign pulled on YouGov research that 41% of millennial women had been sent an unsolicited dick pick and internal Bumble research that nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds received a sexual picture without their content in the last year.
Then Bumble set about forming a coalition of experts from UN Women UK, the United Nations’ gender equality arm, Refuge and End Violence Against Women.
Bumble also called on its existing user base and gave them the tools to write to MPs and post on social. After users and politicians, Bumble went to the press with a blanket approach across national, consumer, lifestyle, broadcast, and political. The brand also sought the testimony of women who had unsolicited pictures sent to them – one of these women even spoke on ITV’s This Morning.
This campaign achieved its goal when it managed to get the UK government to agree to make cyber flashing a criminal offense in its proposed Online Safety Bill. Bumble made this happen by briefing 576 MPs across England and Wales and got its community to send letters to MPs.
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During the campaign, the then prime minister was even asked if he would bring forward legislation to criminalize cyber flashing – to which he said yes.
Bumble said: “This new law is the first step to creating accountability and consequences for this everyday form of harassment that causes victims to feel violated and vulnerable online.”
Bumble’s social and press strategy helped deliver this monumental legislative result. The campaign delivered hundreds of pieces of press coverage across the majority of major UK titles. Bumble achieved blanket news coverage from the national press to lifestyle publications including Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Metro and The Independent. On TV the campaign was picked up by the likes of ITV’s This Morning as well as BBC Breakfast and Sky News.