A lot of adland’s women do. S&S women, especially. You can either support them or join them. Please think about doing one or the other.
Jo Wallace is a regional creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. Jo has a bit on the side. It’s called Kidscape, and it was established in 1985 to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse.
Jo is not the only Saatchi & Saatchi woman with a bit on the side. In fact, she is part of a growing group of adland women who are moonlighting as champions for those who need help. The Publicis Groupe volunteer collective called VivaWomen! is in the middle of a project called, There’s a Good Girl, for charity, Plan UK, that works with the world’s poorest children.
In fact, Jo is the creative in whose brain There’s a Good Girl began…because, “Aside from my day job as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi I like to write and direct pro bono projects for charities and issues that I am passionate about.”
Jo’s new project is a campaign against cyber bullying, Don’t Say Don’t Send. If you think your last campaign solved a tricky problem, read on…
“I first met Claude Knights, the CEO of Kidscape several months ago and she told me about the fantastic work they do. We spoke about the rising issue of cyber bullying – the downside of technological advancement.
“For many teens online is where the best stuff in their lives happens. But it’s also where the bullies are, using the same channels.
“However, it’s not as simple as ‘getting offline’ because for the victim that results in even greater isolation.
“I immediately offered to help raise the issue by writing and directing an online film in my free time, outside of my day job as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. The aim was to have it ready to share during this years anti bullying week which runs 17 – 21 November.
“Thinking around the issue, I realised there’s a basic human truth when it comes to cyber bullying: it’s easy to be a keyboard warrior, dishing out hate through a piece of faceless technology.
“But what if you actually had to read those words out loud?
“Especially if those words had pushed someone to the point of taking their own life?
“It would highlight not only the cowardice involved in cyber bullying, but also the very real impact those words can have.
“What I liked about this idea was that it allowed for an unexpected twist in the plot. At first you think the young people awkwardly reading out these hateful words are the victims, but then you realise: they’re the bullies.
“The charity had no budget for a shoot, but a very kind patron covered the unavoidable costs because they saw the idea and loved it. I shot the ad one Saturday with the help of many amazing people – cast and crew. Even more amazing people then helped with the post production because they too believed in the cause. (Credits below).
“Claude and everyone at Kidscape are thrilled with the film, and so am I. We don’t have a seeding budget like big brands do, but we’re doing everything we can to try and get as many people to see the film as possible.
“I hope it will make people think twice about crossing that line. I hope the potential consequences and the simple thought, “If you wouldn’t say it, don’t send it,” guides them away from cyber bullying.
“And of course, I hope it prompts donations so that Kidscape can keep doing such great work.”
…And if you think that your superhuman efforts are “never acknowledged,” keep reading…
“We are overwhelmed with the support Jo Wallace and the production team have given to Kidscape throughout the creation of the #DontSayDontSend video. It has been a joy to see the initial vision for this campaign materialise into reality; something that would have been unachievable without the team’s genuine passion for our cause. As a small charity with no marketing budget, this opportunity has really been more than we could have dreamed of. We are hoping that the fantastic content speaks for itself, and will drive the public to get behind us in raising much needed awareness of this serious issue,” Claude Knights, chief executive officer, Kidscape.
Writer/director: Jo Wallace
Production company: Warm Blooded
Producer: Kate Pirouet
Director of photography: Sam Goldie
Offline & online Editor: David Owen
TK: Simona Harrison @ rushes
Sound design: Dave Robinson @ angell
Music composition: Barbara De Biasi, Slancio Music