Welcome to agency life, young adlanders. There’s a Welcome to Advertising kit, one for men and one for women, to help you get acquainted with the world of Mad Men and Women. The kit is a campaign from The Change Collective, a group of senior creatives, photographers and PR experts who are frustrated at the lack of support for women and sexual harassment victims, and misogynistic culture within the industry.
The kits are, in fact, two ads, which look very cheerful at first glance but they don’t contain the welcoming things you might expect.
Among the gifts in the bag for women are an evidence kit “for collecting DNA after a sexual assault”; A dictaphone “to record abuse, threats and gaslighting incidents”; Antidepressants “to help you through burnout and mental illness”; a megaphone for “working late, client dinners and Cannes” and makeup remover pads “to look as plain and innocuous as possible”.
The bag for men includes a megaphone “to call out misogyny when you see it”; Sexual Offences Act 2003 to “know the law so the lines are clear”; a timer “to stop you from dominating airtime in meetings” and aromatherapy oil “to reduce aggressive behaviour”.
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.
A senior creative and member of The Change Collective, commented, “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 don’t have to feel like we felt when it happened to us.”