Sammy Nickalls
January 31, 2016 10:13 am

Two weeks ago, a anonymously uploaded YouTube video entitled “We Are #WomenNotObjects” went viral, with almost 1.5 million views. The video showed various advertisements from companies like Balmain, Carl’s Jr., Tom Ford, and American Apparel showing of women being objectified in the name of sales, media, and branding. The video on its own was incredibly important, but perhaps even more amazing is the fact that advertising agency Badger & Winters has now come forward to say that they were the company behind it.

“We wanted it to be judged on (a) its content, not its context. But (b) we really wanted to see what the reaction was about it, outside of the realm of the industry,” Madonna Badger told Women’s Wear Daily. “Now we’re coming forward saying it was us, we were the ones who posted it because we are taking a stand today that we will never objectify a woman again in any of the advertising, content, posts — any form of communication that we do for any of our clients.”

#WomenNotObjects, which started after a Google search for “objectification of women” in mid-November, features multiple women holding copies of the ads and highlighting the problematic nature of objectifying women in the media. The video closes with a powerful message: “I am your mother, daughter, sister, coworker, CEO. Don’t talk to me that way.”

It quickly went viral and was tweeted by UN Women and Huffington Post. “Our goal was to now come forward and say, ‘This is from an advertising agency. This is from the people who have been guilty quite frankly in the past of objectifying women and men in a way that was not acceptable,'” Badger told WWD. “We’re coming forward and saying, ‘We’re not going to do that anymore. We know that it does harm and our job is to do no harm.'”

Badger explained that advertising agencies hold a large responsibility and they must be held accountable. “The average age of a little girl who goes on a diet is seven, and over 81 percent of 10-year-olds think they’re fat. . . When we objectify women, women tend to self-objectify,” she told WWD. “So we turn that lens on ourselves.”

There are four important aspects to keep in mind when preventing objectification in advertising, Badger said:

We could not be more for this amazing cause, and we can only hope that other agencies will take a page from Badger & Winters’ book. Women are not objects, nor are they just a method to sell burgers or cologne. It’s high time that the media caught on to that unequivocal, important truth.

(Image via Twitter.)

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