It’s #timeTo stop sexual harassment: the industry has now officially run out of excuses

A year ago, #timeTo launched with a mission to put an end to sexual harassment in the ad industry. A couple of weeks ago, Pitbull closed out Advertising Week New York surrounded by twerking, underdressed women.

Banishing inappropriate behaviour was always going to be a tall order and a long term project, but new research from Credos is a reminder of just how far #timeTo has to go, despite support from an excellent “Where do you draw the line?” campaign by Lucky Generals.

A survey of 1,114 people who work in companies that endorse #timeTo (so these are supposed to be the good guys) found that 10 per cent had experienced sexual harassment in the past 12 months, 79 per cent had not reported it, and 46 per cent thought their companies could benefit from clearer guidelines and policies.

Diana Tickell, NABS CEO, said: “The sad truth is that sexual harassment continues in our industry and we are determined to do everything to put a stop to it. We need all of our endorsing companies to play their part in ensuring everyone has a safe workplace and that, in the event of sexual harassment, people feel confident to report it with the certainty that action will be taken.”

So #timeTo has put together a toolkit for the sad people who still need the basics of unacceptable behaviour spelled out to them. There’s even an annual planner where you can flag up high-risk events, and a one-pager with an idiot-proof checklist of what not to do. There are also email signatures, stickers, and posters to raise awareness of the movement, plus a new Christmas ad campaign and a more demands on endorsing companies to show they mean it.

#timeTo is a collaboration between the Advertising Association, NABS and WACL and is backed by ISBA and the IPA. The movement has been publicly endorsed by most of the big agencies and media owners. Some of those who are not on the list are absent because US parent companies are creating an obstacle.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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