Ad Nut
Mar 17, 2021

Humans for sale? Provocative popup peddles people as products

Newly opened in Sydney, 'Human Mart' is actually a superbly detailed ploy to drive awareness and donations for Anti-Slavery Australia.

A new store in Sydney's Oxford Street looks like an upscale gift shop stocked with beautifully packaged foodstuffs. But look closer and you'll note that the shop is called Human Mart, and that it purports to offer "hand-picked" products that are "unethically sourced".

The popup shop, which was unveiled yesterday and will be open from 10am to 6pm through March 25, is an elaborate stunt for Anti-Slavery Australia. It aims to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and raise donations for the organisation.

The agencies Cocogun and The Glue Society have created an inventory of more than 70 products, each named for and describing a victim of modern slavery in Australia. Indie communications agency Candid Communications is leading the media relations and press strategy.

The agencies and their client report that 15,000 people are being kept in slave-like conditions in Australia today. These people are used as domestic workers, exploited in the sex trade and trapped in forced marriages.

Ad Nut is mightily impressed with the thorough scope of the project and the attention to detail, and beseeches you to peruse the pictures above—and to take time to click to enlarge them to read the package copy. After all this "labour of love" project has taken 18 months to come to fruition; it was set to launch the week that Australia went into lockdown last year.

For those who may be extra-curious, Ad Nut had a minion contact The Glue Society to clarify a couple of things. Although the packages have something in them for the sake of realism (such as tomatoes in the tins and partially baked dough in the cheese bundles), people who donate by making a 'purchase' don't take the packages home. They get a branded tote bag and a 'product brochure'. The packages are being kept because after the shop closes, it will be disassembled and reassembled at University of Technology Sydney as a semi-permanent exhibition and teaching resource.


Anti-Slavery Australia:
Jennifer Burn, Director
Sarah Di Giglio, Coordinator
Carolyn Liaw, Researcher
Sandeep Dhillon, Lawyer
Yvette Selim, Researcher
Ruth McLelland, Manager
Emma Burn, Research Assistant

Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder:
Chiquita King, Co-Founder and Managing Director
Ant Melder, Co-Founder and Creative Partner
Chris Clausen, Head of Design
Lewis Clarke, Copywriter
Emily Hahn, Senior Business Director
Lauren Maneschi, Art Director
Rachel Tse, Designer
Diane Villavieja, Project Director
Hayden Wright, Head of Social Media
Alan King, Store Design and Installation
Mary Hackett, Executive Assistant

The Glue Society:
Direction: The Glue Society
Design & Experience Director: Alice Cogin
Design: Roshan Ramesh
Production Assistant: Holly Warner

Production: Revolver

Candid Communications:
Olivia Meena, Co-Founder
Jodie Moses, Co-Founder
Maddison Cochran, Consultant

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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