Lena is a symbol of the tech industry’s attitude to women, a symbol pf the exclusion of women in tech. She is hidden in almost every website and every digital image. Forty-six years ago, Lena was a Playboy centrefold. She is now the most used test image in the world.
A week ago, Clemenger BBDO Sydney, Finch, Kamber and Facebook, began a campaign for Creatable and Code Like a Girl, to lose Lena. Following a series of successful screening events across Australia and the US Clemenger BBDO Sydney and Finch have now released the documentary film, Losing Lena, on Facebook Watch, making it available to a global audience.
Lena’s story began in 1972, when the Swedish model posed as the Miss November centrefold. The next year, her centrefold was chosen by some men at the University of Southern California (USC) as an ideal test image for the algorithms they were working on to turn physical photos into digital bits. This research laid the groundwork for what would later become the jpeg, an image standard that revolutionised our digital world. She is still a test image. The documentary asks why Lena wasn’t retired years ago. It explores a thread that binds together so many similar challenges and biases women in tech have experienced around the world.
Watch the film on Facebook Watch here.
Find more information about the campaign here:
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO Sydney
Production Company: Finch
Media Partner & Film Distribution: Facebook
Digital & Bot Development: Kamber
Tech Platform: The Bot Platform
PR (Australia): Clemenger PR
PR (USA): Porter Novelli
Sound Design: We Love Jam Studios
Clients: Creatable & Code Like A Girl