The film, created by Lucky Generals, urges business leaders to ensure that it does not happen on their watch by signing up to the timeTo training.
Research from timeTo has found that half (49%) of all people in advertising think sexual harassment will be more of an issue now that people are returning to offices, and sadly, many are facing the slow and phased return to office life with dread.
One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was the fact that instances of sexual harassment in our industry have reduced significantly. Whilst it is hoped attitudes have changed, timeTo fears that the significant factor in this reduction is simply down to a lack of opportunity to harass.
To raise awareness of this shocking level of fear and trepidation but also urge business leaders to sign up for the vital timeTo sexual harassment training, Lucky Generals has created a hard-hitting and intensely emotional film - demonstrating through real-life experiences - that sexual harassment is likely to start happening in their businesses again and on their watch.
The ad shows a montage of eerily empty and quiet office spaces designed to look like the industry places we all work in. As the ad plays, real-life (but anonymised and paraphrased to protect them) accounts of 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.
Examples of stories include “she used to call me at 3 in the morning after a night out and ask me to come round” and “he asked me if I was late because I’d been sucking someone off”.
An animated red line, a reflection of timeTo’s ‘it’s time to draw the line’ campaign line travels through the offices leading to the final shot which delivers the title: “Sign your company up for sexual harassment training today.”
Previous timeTo communications have sought to engage everyone in adland in the debate by asking “where do you draw the line?”. But enough is enough. We cannot go back and we urgently need change. “It’s time to draw the line” and there is really no excuse for industry leaders not to take a much tougher line and to commit to lasting change, starting with the training.
Kerry Glazer 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, 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 invidious issue at its core.”
Helen Calcraft, Founder at Lucky Generals, said: “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.
Half-empty offices represent an enhanced risk. There are ghosts in too many corridors, kitchens and meeting rooms.
“We feel this is the right time to appeal to agency leaders to do more to institute a zero-tolerance approach and be the change we need, by investing in training in order to transform adland’s culture from top to bottom. We wanted to give those who have suffered a voice and a platform, to remind us all that this kind of bullying and diminishing behaviour is deeply damaging. We have to accelerate the eradication of sexual harassment. It truly is time to draw the line.”
The campaign uses real-life stories that may be triggering for some. Anyone affected please contact the NABS Advice Line on 0800 707 6607.