L’Oreal takes on street harassment - Brand Innovators

L’Oreal takes on street harassment

  • L’Oreal Paris is taking on the problem of general street harassment of women, stressing that incurring the unwanted advances, comments and other invasive practices are not – and never are – women’s fault. 
  • The new campaign, “It’s Never Your Fault,” is  part of the company’s four-year-old Stand Up Against Street Harassment global campaign, created in partnership with international NGO Right to Be. 
  • The campaign is informed by data from an Ipsos study that found roughly two-thirds of women worldwide have changed their clothing or appearance in public spaces to avoid harassment. 

The campaign’s launch coincides with International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, and emphasizes that all women everywhere should be empowered to fulfill themselves according to their own rules and aspirations. 

“For more than half a century, L’Oréal Paris has been relentless in its dedication to breaking down barriers that prevent women from asserting their self-worth,” said L’Oreal global head president Delphine Viguier-Hovasse. “True to its mission, L’Oréal Paris, through this new campaign, aims to empower women and remind them of their right to be who they are.”

According to the Ipsos study, 75% of woman have experienced sexual harassment in a public space at least once in their lives. Additionally, more than half (52% total, 55% of men and 50% of women) believe women are sometimes to be blamed for situations of sexual harassment in public spaces. 

“Despite street harassment in public spaces being a worldwide and common issue, misconceptions remain, and there is a need for more awareness around shame and guilt,” Viguier-Hovasse said. “These figures show the crucial need to shift the mindset on sexual harassment. Because despite the worldwide prevalence of this issue, misconceptions remain. Sometimes, women end up blaming themselves for being harassed, when in reality, it’s never their fault.”

Campaign elements reinforce this position, calling out in no uncertain terms that the way women dress or look is not the cause of harassment. “Don’t Blame Your Lipstick.” reads one. “Street Harassment is Never Your Fault.” The ads contain a QR code directing people to Right to Be’s website where they can learn the groups “5Ds” – distract, delegate, document, delay and direct – to intervene when they witness harassment. 
“The 5Ds give us five safe and proven strategies all of us can do when we witness harassment that are proven to stop the harassment and reduce trauma for the person being harassed,” said Emily May, president and co-founder of Right to Be. “A world free of harassment and filled with humanity is possible, and it starts with us.”