While instances of sexual harassment in the ad industry reduced significantly during Covid-19, simply down to a lack of opportunity to harass, TimeTo is warning that sexual harassment is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels, as people gradually make their way back to the office.
The awareness campaign by TimeTo, an initiative set up by Nabs, the Advertising Association and WACL to tackle sexual harassment in advertising and marketing, responds to research that found 49% of adlanders fear sexual harassment will be more of an issue now.
While previous TimeTo's comms has sought to engage people in debate, asking "where do you draw the line?", this is no longer enough, it argues.
With the new tagline, ''it's time to draw the line', the ad encourages businesses to sign up for TimeTo training.
To get this message across, Lucky Generals has created a hard-hitting film to demonstrate real-life experiences that are likely to start happening.
The spot features a montage of eerily empty and quiet office spaces, instantly recognisable as industry places adlanders work in.
As the ad plays, real-life accounts from a diverse range of women and men who have experienced sexual harassment are dubbed over the top, giving the viewer the feeling they are listening to ghosts of past traumatic moments, combined with a chilling prediction of what lies ahead.
To protect their identity, the accounts have been anonymised and paraphrased.
With a nod to TimeTo's "it's time to draw the line" campaign, a red line travels through the offices leading to the final shot which delivers the title: “Sign your company up for sexual harassment training today.”
Kerry Glazer, chair at TimeTo, said: “The statistics say it all. 49% of adlanders believe that as we return to work, sexual harassment is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels, which is simply unacceptable. And if you’re a business leader, [the] chances are it’s going to start happening again on your watch.
“So much has been said about the desire not to return to the “old normal” and the will to “build back better”. One thing we cannot tolerate is the resumption of historic predatory behaviour. Our world-class training gives businesses a simple, cost-effective tool to tackle this insidious issue at its core.”
“Too many people have memories of unacceptable and bullying behaviour in our offices from before the pandemic. It is gut-wrenching to find that nearly half the industry is worried that the physical return to work will also precipitate a return to predatory, sexually motivated harassment,” Helen Calcraft, founder at Lucky Generals, added.