A group of frustrated senior creatives have come together to launch a campaign warning young adlanders of the dangers of sexual harassment and misogyny in the industry.
Acting under the anonymous guise of The Change Collective they aim to raise awareness while showing where people can go to get help and support.
Using the idea of a classic "welcome to advertising kit", that recruits often receive from HR, they have created two ads, one aimed at women and one at men. The work twists the usual gifts to include tools that can be used to tackle an abusive working environment.
The bag for women features items such as an evidence bag for collecting DNA after a sexual assault; a dictaphone to record abuse, threats and gaslighting incidents; and antidepressants to help them through burnout and mental illness.
The male bag includes a megaphone to call out misogyny when they see it; a copy of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 so the law is clear; and a timer to stop men from dominating airtime in meetings.
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.
Inspired by "harrowing and horrendous personal experiences" from careers in advertising, The Change Collective wants to open the industry's eyes to the fact that some people who are in positions of influence can remain impartial to the abuse. The group has been formed by creatives, photographers and PR experts who say they are frustrated at "the lack of support for women, sexual harassment victims, and the NDA culture within the industry".
A senior creative and member of The Change Collective said: "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."
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)