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Reversible Poems for Refuge Bring Home Horror of Domestic Violence

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Refuge and McCann Bristol turn attitudes to domestic violence on their head

Reversible Poems for Refuge Bring Home Horror of Domestic Violence
An intriguing and highly original campaign for the domestic violence charity Refuge by McCann Bristol will appear in press, TV, cinema, interactive radio, posters, and social media throughout the festive period.

Full-page ads will appear in Woman’s Own, Marie Claire and Bella. The call-to-action that runs across all media is ‘If your partner turns on you, turn to us’. 

Inspired by reversible poetry, each ad first conjures up a positively cosy picture of family life at Christmas. But, when invited to read each poem from the bottom line up, the full horror of life for a family living with domestic violence emerges. 

This campaign could not break at a better time, given the statistics. 


Even now, in 2018, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Two women a week are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales. On average another three women a week commit suicide as a way of escape. 

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today – it really is a life and death issue. Yet still too few women know how to spot the signs of domestic violence, realise that domestic abuse is a crime or know that Refuge is here to support them.  We want women to know that no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should ‘turn’ to us for support.”


Vince McSweeney, chief creative officer of McCann Central said: “The amount of craft that has gone into writing these reversible poems and making the whole campaign is in tribute to the often life-saving work that Refuge undertakes every day. We hope that this campaign will show women and children affected by domestic abuse where to turn to.”

Maxine Peake, a long-standing supporter of Refuge, recorded an audio version of the poems and the cinema and TV ads were created by award-winning director Steve Reeves of Another Film Company.   


The campaign was created by Zane Radcliffe and Ken Sara of McCann Bristol. Post-production was by Craft London, Cherry Cherry and sound and audio by SNK. FleishmanHillard Fishburn and McCann provided PR for the campaign. Media was negotiated by Universal McCann across McCann’s Bristol and Birmingham offices. Everyone involved in the campaign has donated their services to Refuge free of charge.

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Genres: People, Storytelling

Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

McCann Worldgroup, Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:59:56 GMT