EE takes a stand against sexist hate ahead of women’s Euros

This is a good, thought provoking ad for the first day of the UEFA Women’s Euros.

The “Hope United” campaign, which was rolled out during the men’s Euros last year – although with limited success, given at the hate that spilled out post-penalties at the final vs Italy – is back with a focus on misogyny.

With the England men’s team and Gareth Southgate on board, there’s honest talk about male privilege, a climate of intimidation, and how misogyny is a “stain” on all men. The message is that it’s “Not her problem.”

Saatchi & Saatchi did the creative, with fellow Publicis agency Digitas UK on reactive social and Essence responsible for media buying.

Marc Allera, CEO of EE, said: “Now, more than ever, it is imperative we come together to champion hope over hate, placing the onus on men to own the problem: this is why EE Hope United will continue to help shape a safer online world, giving others the confidence and knowhow to help call out and put a stop to online sexist hate.”

Southgate could have put it better in his own words, rather than this laboured poem, but otherwise it’s a strong campaign. Let’s hope people listen.

MAA creative scale: 8

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe 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.

37 comments

  1. I’m sorry but I as a man object to your advert. The last lines of that are more than suggesting that all men are sexist and there for it’s our fault. You get sexism from both men and women and in this day and age also other sex’s. We all need to engage in this and it is up to those that are near anything sexist happening to point it out to them and if need, to report it but don’t level all the blame at one section of the population. I am far from sexist and do not like being told on public television that i am.. would like to suggest that Saatchi & Saatchi relook at their wording and come up with something better.

  2. Well said Malcolm. Yet another 1 of the all too often in recent years attempts to draw lines in the sand and divide us into groups.
    The naive creators act as though its progressive, but in truth its far more regressive.
    These kind of movements of segregated blame, rather than encouraging society to pull together as 1 equal entity to tackle our problems together, will only deepen societal divides.

    Unfortunately this is a step backwards…

  3. The advert is offensive towards Men, unfairly tarring all men as sexist if they do not want to see Womens football.
    Womens football has been fairly or unfairly been given a massive leg up on Terrestrial TV and it will attract the viewers it deserves and that is fair enough.
    Nobody has the right to force or try to force force people to watch anything. It would be a start if Women themselves supported Womens football and they took interest in it and watched it.
    Men are not sexist for not wanting to watch Womens football, lower league male sides struggle to get viewers as sport is saturated on TV these days and there is so much choice, so the product has to be worth watching so that peoples precious time is not wasted.
    Perhaps Womens football is not yet worthy of such a high pedestal and the people of BOTH sexes have better things to do with their time? time will tell but STOP with the sexist adverts.

  4. I am closing my account – tariff up in November and I don’t pay for this hectoring nonsense. Closing my Halifax account tomorrow

  5. Again another offensive advert hits the airways, THIS IS OFFENSIVE TO MEN! we are not all women haters! what about all the female “haters”, come on EE get a grip and be more diplomatic with your suggestions.

  6. After seeing the advert on TV, I was then amazezed and hugely offended to see a group of young men making sexual gestures behind the back of the female news person in the fan zone area (assumely around Wembley)

    Their sexist and belittling gesture went on throughout the broadcast.

    Their disgusting behaviour is the reason why these adverts, explaining that it is the behaviour of men that has to change need to be broadcast

  7. I to was offended by the advert, I think saying it’s men who are responsible for sexism is a sexist thing to broadcast, sexists are not just men or just women discrimination can be carried out by anyone regardless of sex, race or any other kind of group identity.

  8. Philip Robbins

    @Ajay, you’ve never seen women making offensive gestures about men? Get a grip.

  9. I totally agree that the advert is saying sexism is all about men being the culprits.
    It should say it is all our problem whatever our gender..

  10. These EE TV adverts are gross direct sexism — indeed, in aggravated form — in claiming the complete falsehood that men have and display a generic antipathy or hostility towards women.
    This is a current entirely ideological construct of misognyny, that science reviews (see below*, **) conclusively show is non-existent, with PHILogyny and misandry being instead the generic gender attitudes.
    In fact, a charge of misogyny is itself misandry.
    [Note, there has always been in reality and popular understanding that a small minority of both sexes despise the opposite sex, which is a wholly different phenomenon.]
    The ads therefore are actionable under the Sex Discrimination Act, given that it is, to reiterate, direct gross sex discrimination, that furthermore is in aggravated form; exposing EE to the prospect of class action by any men who have viewed these adverts, and a decision against EE by OFCOM.
    EE needs immediately to withdraw the adverts and issue a full apology.
    * Moxon, S.P. (2018). Misogyny has No Scientific Basis of Any Kind: the Evidence is of Philogyny. New Male Studies 7(2), 26-42. https://newmalestudies.com/OJS/index.php/nms/article/view/282/345
    * Dunham, Y., Baron, A.S. & Banaji, M.R. (2016). The development of implicit gender attitudes. Developmental Science, 19(5), 781-789. doi: 10.1111/desc.1232
    [This last was the first and only review of the entire gender attitudes literature, which is the science literature relevant to the concept of misogyny; the conclusion of which is that for boys/men there is “no negative association with female whatsoever”.]

  11. Keith Richardson

    I’m here as a visitor to the UK and have seen this horrible ad several times which almost makes me feel guilty for being a man. From reading previous posts I seem to be picking up that this must be directed towards sports and men not watching women playing football? Big deal.
    I don’t like football period and you couldn’t pay me to attend any football game. So where does that place me ?

    For what it’s worth I’m most definitely not racist or sexist and have two very successful professional daughters who got every backing in life to succeed

    I admire any gender who works hard towards any kind of achievement and not just football or sports

    I find your ad offensive towards men and sexist in its own right. Regardless of who the advertisement people are

  12. I fully agree it is sexist,but I would strongly suggest to readers instead of touching on this here take it to ofcom especially as it seems to breach the sex discrimination act.If this was the other way around can you image,It would not be given airtime.I extremely hope that a lot of action is taken towards the advert and it is removed from our screens completely!

  13. I find the advert degrading to men. I could careless about football in either sex. But it says all men are sexist. There not. Take the advert down

  14. I to was offended by this advert Gillette did exactly the same stupid mistake and lost a hell of a lot off customers. Yes it does go on but no ware near as much as you make out not every man is like this please do not make out it is,

  15. I agree with all the comments from the gentleman above. Me and my husband saw this advert and both immediately agreed this was the wrong approach and is disrespectful to men.

    It comes across as men being the only problem, I would like to think if it’s equality we strive for then we need to demand equality from both men and women.

  16. Premier League footballers preaching at us? No shortage of rapists, wife/girlfriend beaters and cat kickers in their ranks….

  17. Victims of Sexism is both male and female in my eyes this advert itself is sexist. Why has everything got to be labeled why not hating is wrong. The world goes on about gender fluid equality for all yet promote men as been sexist and predators. Yet many women commit worse crimes, if a women is sexist its banter if a women gets with a younger guy he gets seen as some kind of sex god and a pat on the back. If someone sees a women braying into a man they probably deserve it if the roles were vice verser he would be hung drawn and quartered before anyone knows whats going on. Some people aren’t aware they do or say it half the time its the world we live in and will keep living in aslong as women and men are treated differently

  18. Firstly, men face abuse from fans too. Men of colour face abuse too. People who suffer mentally face abuse too. This advert is not something only women suffer with. Men suffer too.

    Secondly, if hate was affecting women so much how come more men commit suicide than women do? When will Saatchi and England football take on the fact that WOMEN abuse men. Are we going to have ads on this or this an acceptable practice?

    This seems like nothing but a campaign to win women over to buy their product.

  19. Its called ESG, look it up ! Women and men are doomed in this climate of offensive corporate and advertising execs, lets start a campaign to stop offensive and hideous corporations and technocrats telling us how to think, Stalin, Hitler and alike did the same.

  20. The advert is sexist and to generalise that ALL men are sexist makes it so… Do EE really believe they are contributing to tackling sexism. Wow. I have an EE mobile account and when it ends I will not be renewing and I know of others in the same position and who will also not renew. We MUST be sexist then because we dont support the view that ALL men are sexist? I dont like womens football as I dont find it as competitive or as physical as men’s – that is for me to decide (what I like and dont like!) and I’m not being told to support something that does not appeal to me whether it be male or female or both!!!
    EE clearly believe that by commissioning an advert which will court controversy they will invite change – not so, the advert promotes division between the sexes and castigating ALL men in this way can only polarise the situation. I would normally dip into watching the odd highlighted game, being such an high profile and significant event but this advert has had the opposite effect in that I’ve not watched any game and for as long as I believe I’m being pigeonholed into being a sexist male I will actively avoid watching the womens game. Sexism is a problem for us all and it is NOT exclusively a male issue for men to solve. EE and its supporters must live in such a devisive world. I know of many women who spout sexist remarks in recent times but I guess that too is a male problem for us men to take the blame. The advert is disgustingly sexist and if the boot was on the other foot the advert wouldnt get time of day. This demonstrated the devisive times we live in and the ‘England Team’ believe men are there to take the blame in its entirety. How very, very sad – shame on you for your generalistic stance and presentation on an issue which requires us ALL to take ownership…

  21. I was absolutely shocked by the advert which is fighting the hate with more hate. Disgusting, I will leave the company immediately. I am not going to associate with any form of hate.

  22. Even as a woman, I don’t like the advert as it is more sexist than what it is fighting against the

  23. Very sexist advertisement, I can’t understand how the company got away with it.

  24. Have raised a complaint with ASA.org I suggest everyone does the same or enquire via offcom first. Men are far too quiet about the sidelining that’s going on today. After YEARS of adverts making men out to be stupid or a “bit daft”. The advert is offensive. I’m sick of others telling me I’m racist, sexist, transphobic &c. &c. ad nauseam.
    Leave me the **** alone. Live your life be happy. And stay out of mine!

  25. Remarkable comments l, although they do rather prove its point…a point so many seem to have missed in their insecurity.

  26. To Any who disagree with EE’s stance,
    Go to https://www.asa.org.uk/make-a-complaint
    Fill in the form and let’s make it clear that this is NOT appreciated.
    Gillette did this famously and they were not the first.
    This will not be the last unless we draw the line in the sand.

  27. Yet another example of populist mysandry.
    I am WHAM … White, Heterosexual and Male.
    Therefore I am nowadays regarded as X-ist
    All you have to do is replace the ‘X’ with whatever you like …
    Mysogenist
    Racist
    Sexist
    Ageist
    You name it …
    I’m responsible for all that’s bad in this world
    because
    I’m a (said in a disparaging way) … MAN !

  28. Appalling
    There will be hundreds of men who have watched this who have been abused by women
    I was put in a burns not by my ex wife and stalked for years
    The know at least a dozen more who had similar or worse

    Disgusting company. It’s not just sexist. It’s abusive to all the men who have suffered at the hands of women

  29. As a man who has been sexually assaulted by a woman, I found this appalling and horrifying.
    It’s the 21st century, and men should have the same protections as women.
    Why not simply showcase sexism on both sides of the equasion for a more fair point of view?

    In any case, I’ve purchased a contract with Smarty, and as soon as my SIM card arrives I’ll be terminating my account with EE.

  30. The advert is absolutely disgusting. I hope as many people as possible complain to Ofcom. Try it the other way round, whereby women are portrayed in the same way as men are in this bilge. You’d be cancelled on the spot! I urge everyone to boycott EE.

  31. Just cancelled my EE account after 20 years. I still have phones that say T-Mobile when I switch them on, that’s how long I’ve been with them. But I’m sick of this finger pointing blame game aimed at all men. Believe it or not, the vast majority of men are NOT misogynists, don’t hate women, and don’t appreciate being lectured by the woke middle class. Misandry has become so acceptable in the present day that companies like EE think this advert is perfectly fine!
    Well it’s not. It’s disgraceful. You would think the Gillette ad from a year or so back, that wallowed in misandry, would have been the last straw, but apparently not.

  32. As a women who enjoys football both the mens and womens game. I have to say this advert is a disgrace and be banned, it is sexist and why do they think that I need to see a girl having a period during a football match, what does that mean exactly!
    EE what were you thinking and OFCOM sort it out.

  33. This advert ignores that men are 3 times more likely to be the victims of violence than women, because it only matters when women are the victims evidently.. It ignores that domestic violence takes place in gay and lesbian relationships, by presenting all victims as women and all perpetrators of violence as men. It ignores that men who are raised by single mothers are more likely to physically or sexually assault women. Pushing the trendy narrative that Men are the beginning and ending of all that is bad and Women (specifically white women) are the supreme victims of all things.

  34. I have been with EE for a number of years and I am completely happy with their service, however following these adverts advocating that all men are sexist I WILL BE CLOSING MY ACCOUNT WITH EE.

  35. Anthony Shields

    Hate is hate, bigotry is bigotry, sexism is sexism.

    These so called creatives…ahem…activists are trying hard to change language, is their eyes you can’t be bigoted or sexist towards a certain type of person with immutable characteristics. All men are oppressors! Really? Do you really think a man capable of these actions outlined in the advert gives 2 f**ks about that ad, this is nothing more than corporate virtue signalling all designed to polarise us even more.

    The moment we justify excluding someone based off race/age/sex is the moment you are the bigoted oppressor. Period.

  36. Wow, seriously?! FUCK YOU EE. Will definitely be looking to close my account this week. Are they that blind to see the irony of their sexist advertisement? Fucking shameless.

  37. This advert is utterly disgusting and I cannot imagine an advert suggesting that sexist hate starts and ends with women would even be considered, let alone allowed. I have complained to the asa and I strongly advise others to do the same. Unfortunately they seem to believe that this advert is appropriate and they are unable to see the damage this does to men everywhere. I can’t believe this advert has gone ahead.

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