Seven years ago, Madonna Badger survived a terrible and unimaginable tragedy when she lost her three children and parents in a house fire. Today, she is an advocate to remove all objectification of women in ads, in honour of her daughters.
As a co-founder of a successful agency in New York, her life was all about advertising and her work helped her to regain her dignity and find a new reason to be alive.
She mused on her role as an objectifier herself, sharing hilarious stories of her Calvin Klein and Kate Moss campaigns where she helped photoshop out all imperfections until the end result was unattainable beauty.
“All of us are here to be of service, and I needed to find my [reason] to honour my three daughters,” she said at the 3 Percent Conference in New York.
Her research showed the objectification of women in advertising affects their confidence, and now she’s calling for a ban of any nominations into Cannes 2017 that objectify women. You can read more about the #womennotobjects campaign here.
When she flashed the above image onto the screen, she said to a roar of laughter from the audience, “Yeah, because we do this every Friday night with our girlfriends right?”
This was a billboard on a giant billboard on 5th Avenue. When young children were shown these images, little boys in particular found it extremely uncomfortable and distressing.
Here’s another ad Badger featured, saying, “I hate to break it to you, but you won’t score gum from that part of a woman”.
Badger fired off all the economic data needed to prove that this is not only damaging for our children, but causes irreparable harm to brands both in reputation and purchase intent.
Badger concluded her irreverent and informative keynote with her call to action to ban all nominations for Cannes that objectifies women, asking, “So ad people, what are YOU going to do about it?”
And a standing ovation was the loud response from all members of the audience.