Agencies go head to head for 'honour killings' campaign

Cosmopolitan magazine is pitting Adam & Eve/DDB, Leo Burnett and Creature London against each other as part of a competition to create an emotive awareness campaign around "honour killings".

Louise Court: Cosmopolitan editor seeks stand-out image to promote its campaign
Louise Court: Cosmopolitan editor seeks stand-out image to promote its campaign

The fashion magazine will launch the campaign in partnership with Karma Nirvana, a UK charity dedicated to supporting victims of honour-based violence and forced marriages, in a bid to raise awareness of women killed by their families in the name of honour.

The campaign hopes create an annual national day of memory on 14 July in honour of Shafilea Ahmed, who was suffocated by her parents in front of her siblings when she was 17.

Ahmed was killed after she drank bleach to avoid the marriage her parents were forcing her into. The day of memory will coincide with her birthday.

Adam & Eve/DDB, Leo Burnett and Creature London have being tasked to create an emotive and shareable poster as well as a social media campaign. A panel of industry experts, including the Campaign editor-in-chief, Claire Beale, and Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief, Louise Court, will judge the entries.

Karma Nirvana founder and chief executive, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, the director of children charity Theirworld and wife of Gordon Brown, Sarah Brown, and the UK director of, Brie Rogers-Lowery, will also sit on the judging panel.

The winner will be revealed to coincide with the Prime Minister’s Girl Summit on forced marriage and female genital mutilation on 22 July.

Court said: "When a woman is killed by her family, often their intention is to wipe her from history. That’s exactly why we believe these women deserve to be remembered.

"This is also why it’s so important we launch a dramatic and stand-out image that will tell the story of our campaign, and why we are asking some of Britain’s most inspiring ad agencies to create it."

An estimated 5,000 women across the world are killed each year for bringing "shame" upon their families and at least 12 of them are thought to be British.

The Cosmopolitan campaign follows the recent launch of Hearst Empowering Women – a new initiative by Cosmopolitan’s publisher, Hearst Magazines UK dedicated to capturing the unique spirit of feminism.