Fck The Cupcakes asks brands to join the equality campaign ‘Be The Change’

Fck The Cupcakes

• Be the Change is aimed at men to help women drive industry and wider community change

Fck The Cupcakes (FTC), an industry movement established last year to address gender inequality, announced it will launch its first major communications initiative this month called Be the Change and is aimed at men to help women drive industry and wider community change, and is asking brands to join the campaign. 

FTC, led by Innocean Australia CEO Jasmin Bedir and a team within the agency, has brought together a powerhouse of communications professionals to help develop and implement the campaign.

The FTC committee includes creative (Innocean), media (Hearts & Science), PR (Edelman), digital (Performics Mercerbell), and publishers (10 ViacomCBS, JCDecaux, ARN, Hoyts, and Val Morgan), as well as supporting organisations Never Not Creative, shEqual, and Impact.com.

The ‘Be the Change’ initiative and FTC is also putting out the call for brands to come on board to support the campaign and help effect change.

The campaign will take a different approach, focusing on men and inviting them to take part in the conversation. The recent shEqual Advertising Equality report confirmed that men were disengaged from the subject, with more than half (54%) believing that gender equality is prioritised, while only 29% of women agreed.

“As a collective, we recognised that our industry has created campaigns that put the solution to equality in the hands of one gender – hint: it’s the same gender attending equality talks,” Bedir said.

“The truth is many men have disengaged from the conversation. For the vast majority of men, they do not relate to the stories of extreme sexual assault, unfair dismissal or domestic violence so often covered in mainstream media.

“They have no lived experience of what the average woman goes through in their daily workday, nor their unconscious contribution to it. Brand owners form an important role in helping to change the conversation, and we would like more to help us ‘Be the Change’,” she added.

This year, FTC is inviting men to ‘Be the Change’ – in the workplace, in circles of friends, in families, and with strangers and to stand beside women to strike out casual misogyny. The campaign will use humour to engage with men on their own terms. In addition, a consumer and trade teaser campaign will launch in February to help encourage more brands and media owners to get involved.

The multi-media campaign already has support from the production industry and media partners, including 10 ViacomCBS, JCDecaux, ARN, Hoyts, and Val Morgan. FTC is also in discussions with men’s groups, including Man Cave, Line and Length, and Our Watch, to sense check and provide valuable feedback on the campaign concept.

10 ViacomCBS Chief Sales Officer, Rod Prosser, said: “We want to acknowledge that many men want to help and be responsible for positive change, but in such a nuanced conversation, many don’t know how. We’re on a mission to help people recognise the problem and then create a safe space to learn the tools to listen, ultimately giving permission to contribute to the fight for gender equality 365 days a year.”

Hoyts Group Chief People Officer, Jodi Paton, said: “Reducing gender inequality at work requires action at all levels. Being honest about our professional landscape as it stands today is vital. We want to seek to understand bias and our role as an organisation in reducing it. Rather than being fearful of the answers, we need to ask ‘What can we do?’ so that we can understand the systems and practices that may be barriers to achieving gender equality. As a media owner, we want to drive the conversation that will lead to sustainable, systemic changes that widen our definition of success and leadership across our industry.”

ARN Chief Commercial Officer, Pete Whitehead, said: “We’re proud to be helping FTC to be the change they seek. By providing access to our audience of over eight million Australians, ARN will play a critical role in driving awareness around the unconscious gender bias that exists in our industry and beyond. We’re looking forward to seeing the campaign come to life and even more importantly, the results of the efforts.”

JCDecaux Chief People Officer, Alissa Bartlett, said: “We are really excited to be part of such a courageous and authentic initiative. JCDecaux has embarked on an important D&I journey of its own and while we are just starting out, supporting this campaign helps us effect change not only from within, but across our communities at large.Our media platform gives the campaign a supercharged voice and provides critical reach to all people, everywhere.”

The teaser campaign is launching this week.

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