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Mayor of London Calls on Men to Take Action to End Violence Against Women

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Ogilvy UK campaign puts the onus on men to challenge misogynistic behaviour and harassment

Today the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, unveiled a bold new campaign to address sexist attitudes and inappropriate male behaviour that has led to the epidemic of misogyny and male violence against women and girls in nationwide.

The ‘Have a word with yourself, then your mates’ fully integrated campaign was conceived by Ogilvy UK as a pro bono partnership with the Mayor of London. It launches today with a hero film, which puts the onus on men challenging them to stop being a bystander and take action when they see misogynistic behaviour and harassment. 

Working with the behavioural science team and planners from both the PR and advertising business, Ogilvy UK’s approach gets men to think about their own behaviour – and how they’d challenge the behaviour of their friends. By addressing bystander behaviour, the Ogilvy campaign gives every man an active role in tackling this problem.

A spokesperson from the GLA said: “We are really pleased with the results of this collaboration between Ogilvy UK, the sector and the Mayor’s office. The thinking, partnership and determination from Ogilvy UK to tackle this serious subject has led to what we hope will be a really effective campaign on such an important issue."

The film, directed by Molly Burdett, features a group of young men on the streets after a night out. One of the men thinks it’s funny to hassle a woman he sees waiting for a cab on her own. His behaviour becomes increasingly threatening, highlighting how easily misogynistic behaviour escalates to more violent acts. His friend, standing by watching, is confronted with his subconscious self, via a mirror conversation, who challenges his harmful behaviour and encourages him to speak out and stop his friend going any further. The aim of the film is to get men to “‘Have a word with yourself, then your mates” and help root out sexism and misogyny from society. 

Alongside the film, The Mayor of London has teamed up with Crystal Palace Football Club and a host of sports teams and personalities to galvanise men in the capital to #HaveAWord and end male violence against women and girls. Sadiq Khan was joined by Crystal Palace Manager, Patrick Viera, Byron Webster and Marcus Gayle at Selhurst Park to show their support for the campaign ahead of the Crystal Palace vs Manchester City football match, where the film will be to spectators in the stadium.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I need to speak directly to men and boys about an issue of immense importance – a matter of life and death. That’s because in this country – and in our city – we currently face an epidemic of violence against women and girls, committed by men. 

“It must unsettle us all – and force us to take a long hard look at ourselves. As men, we need to be reflecting on the way we view, treat and talk about women. That’s because words matter and there’s a link between misogyny and violence.

“That is why I am launching a new campaign to tackle the toxic attitudes and inappropriate behaviours of some men to help prevent violence against women and girls. I want all of us to be challenging sexism and misogyny. Whether it’s on the streets or online in a group chat, at home or in the pub, we all have a responsibility to raise our voices to help keep women and girls safe.

“Male violence against women and girls can start with words. If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates. It’s time we kick these rotten attitudes out of our city and society for good.”

Charlie Coney, EMEA creative and strategy officer for Ogilvy PR said: “I’m terrified of my young daughter living in a world where she’s wolf whistled at, verbally harassed or threatened by men who don’t think they’re doing anything wrong – and whose mates stand by and do nothing. A man kills a woman every three days in the UK and this brief gave everyone at Ogilvy a chance to stop men being the worst they can be.”

“it’s a cause the entire agency rallied behind, with dozens of strategists, behaviour change experts and creatives from across the business giving up time and energy to support this – and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing partners at the GLA, Hogarth, Spindle and Wavemaker. What started as an earned media brief has turned into a fully integrated campaign, with PR working alongside billboards, broadcast, social, sports partnerships and influencer engagement. This is a nationwide issue and we want men across the country to step up and have a word with themselves, and their mates.” 

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