Gurjit Degun
Jul 4, 2022

EE tackles online sexist abuse in campaign telling men it's their problem

Work by Saatchi & Saatchi shows women going through pain for their sport.

EE is tackling misogyny in football with a campaign that shows online sexist abuse is a man's problem, not a woman's.

"Not her problem" by Saatchi & Saatchi shows female footballers going through pain for their sport, such as having to have stitches or their finger pushed back into place after dislocation.

It also shows a woman starting her period while wearing white shorts and another cradling a crying baby before getting ready for match day.

The film aims to highlight the things that are a problem for the athletes and then cuts to online sexist abuse. It shows footballer Jordan Henderson explaining that sexist hate is "not her problem".

The campaign is part of EE's Hope United initiative, which highlights the role of men to act as an ally to women during the upcoming Uefa Women's Euro England 2022 championships. It is based on YouGov research that shows that 52% of the UK public don't feel the internet is a safe space for women, and 60% believe that not enough is being done to tackle misogyny.

The work has been written by Sarah Heavens and Alex Kosterman, with art direction by Nathan Crawford. It was directed by Sasha Rainbow through Academy.

Marc Allera, chief executive of EE, said: "While the majority will be rightly giving their support to the athletes competing in the Women's Euros this summer, there will be the vocal minority trying to denounce and discredit the women's game.

"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."

The campaign breaks today (4 July) across TV, social and out of home, supported by a series of digital skills, such as how to block accounts, report online hate, mute and filter offensive content and  diversify a social media feed by following more female voices.

Media planning and buying is being handled by Essense, with Digitas UK working on reactive social media.

Pete Jeavons, director of marketing communications at EE, said: "It is increasingly important for brands to use their voice to instigate social change and draw attention to those topics which, although potentially uncomfortable, must be confronted and discussed. EE will not shy away from using our platform to do just that and, through campaigns such as Hope United, help educate and upskill the nation in whatever way we can in order to help create a healthier and more positive digital community."

EE has also partnered HateLab, a hub that collects data on hate crime, to provide each player in the Hope United team with a personalised shirt. It will scrape information from a player's social media account and create a shirt that represents how people are talking about them online.

Franki Goodwin, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, added: "Hope United was born during the Men's Euros in 2021, and this year, we're bringing our fight against online hate to the Women's Euros, because we, like many, believe not enough is being done to tackle sexist hate.

"So, while we cheer on our Lionesses this summer, we're also using the opportunity to inspire men to take more of the burden and help tackle the issue of online and offline sexism, helping our partners at EE continue to make life online safer and happier for people in the UK."

Campaign UK

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