What Adland Bail Out Is Really Like, And Why The $165K Raised For Whitelion Is So Monumental

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Last Friday night, 100 senior adlanders spent the night in gaol as part of the Adland Bail Out, raising $165,000 for UnLtd’s charity partner Whitelion in the process.

In order to be released from prison, everyone involved had to raise at least $1,000 “bail”.

Taking part in the event on behalf of B&T, there were plenty of times I laughed as I told my shocked friends and family I was going to gaol, before adding it was for charity.

Everyone said what I and my fellow adlanders were doing was amazing. They said I was courageous. They said I was braver than them because they could never spend a night locked up.

After spending a night in the now decommissioned Yasmar Detention Centre, and only getting a small – and rather theatrical – taste of what kids in juvenile detention experience, I have to admit: I was wrong for joking about going to gaol, because for the kids who end up in juvie, it’s not a joke. I’m not amazing for spending one short night behind bars. I’m not courageous and I’m not brave.

The really brave ones? The kids who often don’t have a choice about whether or not they go to gaol. The kids who, through no fault of their own, are part of a vicious cycle that for many is impossible to break. A cycle of abuse, drug addiction and poverty.

While I am proud to be a part of an industry that has so far raised $165K, the hard work is not done. The hard work starts now. The hard work is taking what we learned from our night behind bars and putting it into action to help Aussie youth at risk turn their lives around.

So, what was our night in gaol really like?

Standing out in the cold, we were told to drop our bags and line up. Volunteer actors posed as very believable guards as we were interrogated, finger-printed, told to hand over all of our possessions, forced into prison overalls and locked in our cells.

After a rather gourmet feed, the inmates took part in a series of eye-opening and thought-provoking workshops which highlighted the realities and difficult choices many young people at risk face daily.

Listening to a former pro bono lawyer speak so candidly about the reality of what disadvantaged youth experience, along with former prisoners who have turned their lives around, many of us held back tears as the truth sank in: disadvantaged Australian kids often don’t have a choice whether they end up in gaol. They are part of something much bigger than themselves. Part of a broken system. Part of a vicious cycle. It’s not their fault.

And that’s where Whitelion comes in. Whitelion is a charity that connects at-risk young people with the community to educate them to make positive and often life-changing choices through practical and effective support such as mentoring programs, education and employment.

That is why the $165K Sydney adlanders raised (with the Melbourne Bail Out happening next week) is so monumental; it’s going to change lives.

Whitelion CEO Hang Vo said: “We are overwhelmed by the support from the media, marketing and creative industry. We are grateful to partner with an industry that is using its collective reach to raise funds and change hearts and minds – to dispel myths about ‘at risk’ young people and shine a light on their resilience, strength and courage.

“As an ‘inmate’ sharing a cell with other ‘inmates’, I was inspired and buoyed by everyone’s commitment and determination to make a difference. Funds raised will give young people a chance to turn their lives around – to develop the skills and confidence to contribute to the economy and connect with community. We believe work and a sense of belonging will transform lives.”

The event also saw the reveal of the first-ever industry-wide campaign for Whitelion, created pro-bono by Ogilvy. Through UnLtd’s corporate partners, 30 companies have pledged their support for the campaign with over $1.5 million of media inventory already committed. This will be the first time UnLtd has brought all major media owners and competing networks together to support a cause with a major national campaign.

UnLtd CEO Chris Freel said: “For over ten years, UnLtd has been bringing the media, marketing and creative industry together to do good. This campaign is the culmination of that work and a perfect example of our power to make a positive difference as an industry.

“Not only has the Adland Bail Out event brought the industry together and raised some serious cash, it’s shown the wider impact we can have when we work together. A massive thank you to Ogilvy for creating such a powerful campaign, to Wavemaker for managing the media and for every company who has pledged their support.”

The campaign called ‘Invest in Me’, is designed to raise awareness and funds for Whitelion but also to change the perception of young people at risk.

Ogilvy creative director Luke Hawkins said: “What many Australians aren’t aware of are the strengths and resilience at-risk youth possess. The fact that despite everything they’ve been through, they’re still here, standing tall and striving to be better versions of themselves every day is quite incredible. And out of these strengths come some really powerful, positive stories.

“Stories that would not only compel Australians to give to Whitelion, but also give us the ability to stand out in the charity crowd by completely reframing what a donation to Whitelion means. “Invest in Me” will show that when you give to Whitelion it’s much more than just a donation, it’s an investment in the life of a young person at risk.”

The campaign will launch on 16 June across TV, print, radio, outdoor, cinema and digital.

Bail Out is an annual event for Whitelion, providing a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a young person that has been disconnected from our community due to abuse and neglect, drug addiction and poverty.

The Sydney inmates of 2019 were: 

Creative Gang:

Akim Azzi, Suncorp

Alex Lowes, Tourism Australia

Alex Hayes, Clear Hayes

Ally Burnie, B&T

Andy Wright, Streamtime

Carol Morris, Suncorp

Claire Salvetti, One Green Bean

Clive Prosser, Advertising Week APAC

Damien Pashby, Ogilvy

Joshua            McDonnell, AdNews

Karen Halligan, KPMG

Kati Gapaillard, Talent RISE

Luke Hawkins, Ogilvy

Maureen Brooks, ILF

Michelle Holland, Ogilvy

Paul Everson, JWT

Priya Patel, DDB Sydney

Rob Pyne, Realizer

Sally Kissane, Ogilvy

Shani Langi, Usual Suspects

Sharice Bellantonio, Usual Suspects

Simon Goff, Purpose

Sudeep Gohil, KPMG

Tony Hale, Communications Council

Media Agency Gang:

Brendon McKeon, Group M

Bronte Mikel, MKTG

Gavin Gibson, OMD

Greg Graham, Sparrow

Erin Hunter, MKTG

Jonny Cordony, Zenith

Kim Hamilton, OMD

Kristiaan Kroon, OMG

Lizzie McManus, MKTG

Luke Hutchinson, Hearts & Science

Martin Mansell, MKTG

Peter Vogel, Wavemaker

Philippa Noilea-Tani, Wavemaker

Ryan Hedditch, Posterscope

Simon Williams, Carat

Stephanie Douglas-Neal, PHD

Venessa Hunt, Group M

Virginia Hyland, Hyland Media

Wendy Gower, Hearts & Science

Tech Gang:

Adrian Vallelonga, Google

Angus Keene, Twitter

Brent Banning, Salesforce

Carolyn Bollaci, Facebook

David Coffey, Quantcast

Gemma Labadini, Salesforce

Natalie Hodges, Domain

Paul Kent, Sizmek

Paul McCrory, Facebook

Paul Sigaloff, Verizon Media

Peter Barry, Pubmatic

Ricky Chanana, Unruly

Ros Tregurtha, Domain

Ruth Cosgrave, Quantcast

Sammy Major, Tribe

Stephanie Famolaro, The Trade Desk

Tom Weaving, The Trade Desk

Media Owner Gang:

Andrew Brain, Pacific Magazines

Angus Leech, ARN

Anthony Bartram, ARN

Christian Williams, Network 10

Dan Stinton, Guardian

Daniella Serhan, MCN

Grant Madigan, Network 10

Guy Burbidge, Val Morgan

Hannah Pritchard, oOh! Media

James Bayes, Seven West Media

Josh Slighting, Network 10

Kerry McCabe, PlayersVoice

Max Eburne, JCDecaux

Neil Robinson, News Corp

Nicole Bence, Pacific Magazines

Paul Blackburn, News Corp

Paul Butler, VMO

Paul Brooks, Nine

Rachel Tikey, Pedestrian

James McManus, Pedestrian

Scott Corcoran, Nine Regional Media

Sev Celik, Tonic Health Media

Melbourne inmates (24 May 2019):

Ally Henthonr, oOh! Media

Belinda Finch, Domain

Bianca Wallis, Publicis

Bree Laing, MKTG

Brooke McGregor, Quantcast

Darren Morton, Quantcast

Gavin MacMillan, Ogilvy

Jane Bowman, Marketing Mag

Jason Pellegrino, Domain

Jessica Armstrong, Starcom

Jessica Christkakis, oOh! Media

Joseph Lyons, REA

Josh Loh, Marketing Mag

Kate Purcell, Tonic Health Media

Kenny Stewart, OMD

Luke Smith, Seven West Media

Luke Burr, Verizon Media

Mel Green, Facebook

Michael Emmerson, Posterscope

Mikhaila Mossuto, MKTG

Ollie Ward, Digitas

Paul Bates, REA

Rachel Page, Verizon Media

Sarah James, Initiative

Stuart Jaffray, Starcom

Tony Blamey, Domain

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