Latest News | 16 August 2023

Agency backs campaign tackling violence against women

MacMartin Creative
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Creative agency MacMartin has given its backing to a controversial campaign aimed at tackling violence against women.

Last month, London mayor Sadiq Khan launched the ‘Maaate’ campaign, which aims to encourage men to put the brakes on misogynistic comments made by their male friends.

It comes after a study revealed two in three men want to intervene when they hear misogynistic language but did not know what to say.

Since its launch, the campaign has divided opinion, with some critics labelling it “patronising, naïve, and misplaced” in that responsibility is placed on bystanders and not those making toxic remarks.

MacMartin is an award-winning creative agency founded by sisters Anna Hutton and Claire MacDonald, which creates campaigns to “incite positive change”.

This year, the firm announced a change in direction to focus on behaviour change marketing – like the ‘Maaate’ campaign.

It is now working with local authorities, schools, charities and not-for-profit organisations to create marketing campaigns that are a force for good – and not just about turning a profit.

While they acknowledge the controversy of the ‘Maaate’ campaign, Anna and Claire believe it is important to wait and see if it is successful.

Anna, who is MacMartin’s marketing director, said: “Effective behaviour change campaigns can’t be insipid or watered down – and this campaign, for all its controversy, has a clear message, talking directly to a particular demographic.

“Campaigns like this are not made to be interesting to others or people pleasing, they are designed to change behaviour for the good of society.

“If campaigns are doing something good, and having the desired effect, they should not be criticised too heavily.”

Claire, who is design director at MacMartin, said: “Behaviour change campaigns are always based on science and research, and the creative team behind this one will have researched their target audience, audience behaviours, and what resonates with them the most.

“Time will tell, of course, on whether the campaign is successful, but the decisions behind it won’t be random ones. It will be scientific and research led.

“Violence against women is a huge societal issue and I think it’s important that the London mayor has engaged with behavioural science experts to try and tackle it. Whatever you think about the campaign, the aims and science behind it are sound.”

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