Cannes Lions

WOMEN'S RIGHTS

WALKER, Zurich / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL / 2009

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Overview

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Overview

Description

Every year, an estimated 2 million women and young girls are victims of trafficking. The tragic fact: Nowadays, it is possible for virtually anyone to buy a woman. Amnesty International’s task was to inform people about this violation of human rights.With the help of 188 Amnesty activists women were offered for sale in fictitious auction advertisements on eBay.The campaign resulted in coverage from Switzerland’s largest print media, and thousands of online news portals. There were discussions in hundreds of blogs and more than 30,000 Google hits. Millions of people were informed.

In addition to this, in 2009 a popular initiative will be launched in Switzerland in order to protect women against human trafficking.

Execution

With the help of 188 Amnesty activists, we launched an overnight offensive, planned to the last detail. We used eBay, the world’s largest auction platform, to get our message across. Via hundreds of live auctions, we offered women for sale. The message was always put in the context of the respective product category. A closer look and the consumer discovered the ad’s true meaning.

Outcome

One day after its launch, the eBay attack was the cover story of Switzerland’s largest print media. The message spread quickly; within 48 hours, thousands of people had already signed the online petition against sex slavery. The eBay campaign generated countless media contacts on the internet. Thousands of news portals, including Spiegel.de, ORF, Yahoo News, MSN, Washington Post and the New York Times wrote about it. The topic was discussed in over a hundred blogs. But the campaign accomplished even more than its purpose: in 2009, a people’s initiative will be launched in Switzerland to protect women against human trafficking.

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