Cannes Lions

ANTI-PROSTITUTION DEBATE

GYROHSR, Stockholm / JARFALLA TJEJJOUR / 2011

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

How do you turn people against prostitution? We started by opening a brothel.Worried that Sweden’s tough anti-prostitution law was losing popular support, Järfälla Tjejjour, a small Stockholm-based women’s support group, wanted to reverse the trend. So we created a sensational solution – building a brothel at Sweden’s political and media event of the year. A massive 93% of resulting coverage (which included a live debate on Sweden’s biggest TV channel) was positive or neutral, against a goal of 51%. And subsequently, support for the sex law among Swedes increased by 28% (target 10%), while the proportion opposed went down from 18.2% to 13%.

Execution

We built the Brothel and erected high-visibility signage proclaiming the building’s purpose, inviting people inside. The message was "Welcome, sex purchasers and opponents of the sex laws – make yourselves at home." - During the Almedalen Week, there was a tidal wave of reaction around the Brothel.- The national media turned up outside the Brothel to report, comment & conduct interviews.

- Opponents of the law indignantly attacked it and its message.

- A debate broke out – and media reported all about it. As part of our strategy we offered Sweden’s biggest TV channel, SVT, exclusive access to our research findings. This led to a major PR coup, 'Debatt', a discussion-TV-programme, dedicated to the Brothel & the issues it raised.

We advertised in Sweden’s three largest newspapers; created a Facebook group with more than 600 fans; & invited people to watch live webcam transmissions from inside the brothel - over 2,500 viewers.

Outcome

We succeeded in igniting the issue, the result was 100% real.

At Almedalen Week, in a field of 800 organisations and 1,400 events, we won the Media Power Factor award.Beyond Almedalen the brothel created a phenomenal national controversy. Leading politicians and opinion-formers to publicly debate the issues involved.

In total there were 44 reports on the Brothel in print, radio and TV. Their PR value was estimated by MediaPilot as €747,000 – over 8 times the budget. Overwhelmingly 93% coverage of articles was positive or neutral, against a goal of 51%.

Our clients Järfälla Tjejjour were the headline’s talk of the town by the national media and internet.After the unprecedented debate, Swedes with a positive view of the Sex Purchase Act increased – not by the targeted 10%, but by 28%. And whereas 18.2% of the population had previously opposed the law, this was now down to just 13%.

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