UN Women hires male-focused New Macho for HeForShe initiative

Work set to launch this summer.

#HeForShe: launched in 2014
#HeForShe: launched in 2014

UN Women’s HeForShe movement has appointed New Macho, BBD Perfect Storm’s male marketing division, to develop the initiative’s upcoming campaign tackling gender equality, following a competitive pitch.

The agency has been tasked with developing HeForShe’s upcoming campaign, which focuses on driving more male action through advocacy and partnerships.

It is set to launch this summer, and marks the beginning of a four-year strategic plan for the UN Women initiative. 

“The UN recognises men hold a disproportionate level of power across cultures globally, but they remain largely absent from the gender equality conversation,” Edward Wageni, global head of UN Women’s HeForShe initiative, said.

“We are on a journey to ensure change and New Macho are clearly passionate experts in engaging audiences positively on the complexities of gender inequality issues.”

HeForShe was founded in 2014 when activist and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson addressed the UN about gender inequality, marking the emergence of a more inclusive approach to the issue. 

New Macho was launched in 2018 as BBD Perfect Storm’s dedicated marketing-to-men strategy unit, which helps brands to avoid the pitfalls of outdated and harmful masculine stereotypes in their marketing.

The unit is also a member of the United Nation’s Unstereotype Alliance, which endeavours to tackle stereotypes in marketing communications.

Its clients include PepsiCo, Kraft-Heinz and Unilever’s Dove Men & Care.

Fernando Desouches, managing director of New Macho, said: “We believe that a sustainable gender balance benefits everybody – it’s one of the reasons we established New Macho, and while many men support gender equality, most don’t know how to help bring it about. 

“HeForShe is needed now more than ever, and it’s an honour and a privilege to help create the next phase of this crucial campaign.”

Desouches added: “Achieving equality in this generation is not a desire, but an imperative if we are to be fit as a society to take on the many challenges that lay ahead.”

A campaign launched last March from UN Women, created by San-Francisco-based shop Erich & Kallman, outlined the ways women remain disadvantaged in the workplace despite the seeming progress of recent decades. 

Since then, researchers have concurred that the pandemic has further set back the cause of gender equality, with women more likely than men to have lost their jobs and taken on additional caring duties. This trend was also revealed in UK agencies by the IPA census.

According to data from the World Economic Forum, it will take another 136 years at the current rate of progress to achieve gender equality.

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