Fck The Cupcakes and Innocean ask men to ‘show up’ for International Women’s Day
Innocean, on behalf of Fck the Cupcakes, is launching the gender equality organisation’s latest campaign platform aimed at getting more men to ‘show up’, lean in and listen on March 8 – International Women’s Day.
According to a World Economic Forum study, women are two times as likely to work on a DE&I initiative as men, but it rarely gets acknowledged in performance reviews and is mostly taken for granted. The vast majority of men still aren’t actively involved in equality initiatives. International Women’s Day is seen as a “women’s event”, that men are largely detached from.
“In the absence of official data, we estimate that male attendance is no higher than 5-10% for actual events, and after an AI analysis of IWD posts or mentions of IWD on LinkedIn, only 17% come from men. On top of it all it’s largely on women to organise the day,” says FTC Founder and Innocean CEO, Jasmin Bedir.
Adds Wez Hawes, Executive Creative Director at Innocean: “Anecdotally, what we hear most often is that men aren’t showing up because they don’t think International Women’s Day is meant for them. Some think they wouldn’t be welcome, others are too scared to get involved, but the majority of men we talk to have never even considered attending an event and will happily steal a cupcake, before sloping off back to their desks. The truth is, we need men to be engaged; otherwise we will never move the needle on gender equality.”
The ‘Show up for Equality’ platform launched last week with a social teaser dubbed “Invi-Tate-ion”, utilising an editing technique, taking the words of Andrew Tate and turning them into an invitation for men to show up, disarming him and his negative words and turning it into an inclusive message.
“The responses we received over the past week after posting the video on selected social media channels was incredible. Overnight our inboxes and feeds were filled with messages from both women and men telling us how much they loved it,” Bedir says.
There is more to the campaign: With one week to go until IWD, the next stage is an out-of-home, digital and social campaign called “Unsolicited Invites” that asks Australians to actively invite men to attend IWD events.
Says Hawes: “We needed a way to directly tell men – in no uncertain terms – that they are invited to any event being put on by their organisation this IWD. The not-so-subtle dick-pic inspired ‘Unsolicited Invites’ and Invi-Tate-ion are just some of the many ways we’re telling men that they are welcome and that this day is for them too.”
In addition, the campaign hub ShowupforIWD.com.au contains all the information to get Australia’s ‘good guys’ inspired into action. There is even a brutally honest FAQ section and other helpful links for those that are still a bit anxious about attending.
Client: Fck The Cupcakes
Creative Agency: Innocean Australia
CEO: Jasmin Bedir
ECD: Wesley Hawes
CD: Effie Kacopieros
Copywriter: Georgie Parchert
Art Director: Lachlan Rotherham
Business Director: Carly Pelham
Account Manager: Alex Hopkins
Head of Digital: Matt Morgan
Head of Content: Martin Hong
CSO: Gual Barwell
Strategist: Eliza Millett
Head of Production: Esmé Fisher
Producer: Brittany Mirabitur
Head of Design: Michael Macgregor
Designer: Damien Tavella
Editor: Dave Anlezark
Bravo. Much respect to you all.
Well done, Fck the Cupcakes. Keep fighting the good fight!
This guy is an absolute grub. Have seen his effect on young men first hand, his influence is highly dangerous.
FUCK Andrew Tate. Great work.
I had no idea these were meant to be dick pics.
Why do you always have to be anti-men with your messaging? ‘Get your minds out of the gutter’?
You’d get more men on your side if you treated us as equals, instead of talking down and pointing fingers.
Couldn’t agree more. I can imagine a heap of guys would take up the invitation to attend these events. But not after you’ve just abused them as having their mind in the gutter. Try swapping angry for smart. You’ll achieve better results.
@echo chamber if you’d been paying attention in this space, they did smart last year. Check it out: https://be-the-change.com.au/
I wouldn’t call that smart. Again, had the agency spoken with people other than themselves, they would have seen how farcical that piece was. Golf right? A sport that any gender can play alongside one another was labeled as sexist. Still, not as bad as this year.
There would be less of a need for these campaigns if you treated us as equals, instead of talking down and pointing fingers…
Why do you have to be such a snowflake?
I know next-to-nothing about Andrew Tate, but even I got this. To those closer to the issue, this should resonate. An almost perfect idea.
I find the whole tone of this campaign patronising towards men.
Surely there’s a better way to get men involved than platforming Andrew Tate.
But you signal out men as the problem consistently. Isn’t it an attitude and behavioural problem that is gender neutral? Even if men are the main perpetrators, there’s a better way to get this message across than your blanket statement approach. Try harder please.
I’m down with anything that makes Andrew Tate look like a muppet
You’ve just scored yourself an own goal with that comment
Onya Georgie! Fckn cracker!
I won’t be attending.
I just saw your gutter poster.
You dislike a campaign, so you decide to ‘take revenge’ on all women by boycotting IWD? Please out yourself so they can use you instead of Tate in next year’s campaign.
Instead of blaming men and and telling them to show up for gender equality…why don’t they tell Feminist and modern women to get buy tickets to watch female sporting events and support equal pay for female athletes….why is it always a man’s problem with you lot…stop being a victim, and blaming men, fk the cupcakes and buy some tickets to support your fellow woman
I have done my best to be supportive of my female colleagues over many years,but it never seems to be enough.
I will remain a believer in equality but have no interest in ‘showing up’ at this celebration of victimhood.
but men are already in boardrooms — why do we need to get into it?!
isn’t that part of the problem?!
The fact that no one at Innocean realised or cared that labelling their target audience, and half the population, as gutter dwellers is foolhardy at best, antagonistic and offensive at worst, is rather concerning.
I am happy the AFLW, for example, exists. It’s a symbol of equality of opportunity. That doesn’t mean I necessarily have to pretend I am remotely interested in it. All these activists are engaging in a form of social coercion: either you are not only on our side by are demonstrably on our side by exhibiting a prescribed set of behaviours, or you are against us. That’s over-reach and counter productive. I don’t want to live in a society that dictates what I should think and how I should behave. Scarily, what was once a taken-for-granted position is today radical and divisive.
Does the notion of equality become plain revenge? Big smile.
I don’t think they’re saying men are in the gutter… I think it’s more a reference to the image, saying get your head out of the gutter, it’s not a dick pic.
It is meant to be a dick pick, it says so in the pr release.
You think this makes it better? A. Nobody realised it’s a dick pic. B. The audience doesn’t get a press release to read. C. Are you saying any man who thinks this is a dick pic, which you’re saying it is, shouldn’t because his mind is in the gutter if he thinks it is. Really? This is poor on every level.
I am happy the AFL, for example, exists. It’s a symbol of mens physical superiority. That doesn’t mean I necessarily have to pretend I am remotely interested in it. The patriarchy is a form of social coercion: either you are demonstrably on our side by exhibiting a prescribed set of behaviours, or you are against us. That’s over-reach and counter productive.
I don’t want to live in a society that dictates what I should think and how I should behave…but I do because I am a woman and that’s exactly what needs to change.
I don’t think you will ever see this comment. If you do, honestly and respectfully, I don’t really know what the patriarchy is. There is nothing stopping women from doing anything. Start your own agency. Win your own clients. Good luck to you. No men are stopping you.
Maybe the cupcakes should be reintroduced.
Very astute comment. The promise of a cupcake is far more appealing than being forced to eat a ‘you’re s##t’ sandwich.
many men here can’t wrap their heads around the fact that not every little thing is about them.
But Fck the Cupcakes keeps making it about men.
When you try to be woke but you just come across as an idiot.
The comments in this thread are exactly why this campaign exists.
Agree, how dare men challenge the reverse sexism inherent in this campaign.
I’m guessing you don’t see the irony of this statement? Oh well.
Respect your audience.
They have White Ribbon as a client. Stopping domestic violence is such a major and important issue that will require nuanced and precise messaging and language to have any hope of working. I sincerely hope they talk to people outside their own little daisy chain to get the work right.
Advertising is a sinking ship, the radicals have fully infested it.
A 2020 US study revealed that the number of women in advertising was already sitting at 52.5%
Given that Australia is a microcosm of the States I’d say it’s safe to assume this number is applicable here too.
With the rise of female-only advertising clubs like The Aunties and Assisterhood I’d hazard a guess this number has risen exponentially over the last two years. In fact I’ve seen it with my own eyes and have spoken to others who have noticed the same.
Take a scroll through your LinkedIn feed and count the ratio of press releases announcing female or otherwise diverse hires against straight white males. Heck even search for any ‘hiring’ related term on prominent industry blogs and take a look through the results.
Straight white men in advertising are currently being discriminated against en masse but we’re not allowed to say anything unless we want our careers destroyed overnight.
I am 100% for equality, diversity and inclusion and don’t believe in bigotry or discrimination against anyone yet for some reason straight white men are fair game and can be attacked and discriminated against without repercussion. It’s disgusting and it needs to stop.
I can help you out with some stats. Your guess isn’t far off – we have 56% women in adland. However the gender pay gap is 33% – agencies are top heavy with men in the highest paid roles and unequal pay rife (both stats – Ad Council of Australia). Would you be happy to take home just 2/3 of what your women peers make? How about empathising with the 27% of women who have experienced (sometimes career-destroying) sexual harassment? Just two reasons why women’s initiatives exist. I’m also curious to know what examples of white male discrimination you’re referring to, because all the examples you gave were initiatives that champion and empower women and gender diverse people. This takes nothing away from men, but you seem to be quite irate about it. Why don’t you attend an IWD event so you can learn more, and maybe your anger won’t be so misguided.
I will wait for International Men’s Day on November 19.
Not that anyone would know or it seems care.
This is offensive as hell. Is this even legal?
Amen. I’ve been supportive of equality issues since day one but that support has gone from fatigue to outright despondence over the last two years.
When is enough enough? Take a walk through any ad agency and you’ll see they’re packed to the rafters with female/gay/otherwise diverse hires. It’s hard to be supportive when we’re constantly being attacked and told we’re the bad guys. I can’t imagine how many men out there are now unemployed or have otherwise had their careers affected by this movement only to have salt rubbed in the wounds day in day out.
Two years! What a struggle that must be for you.
Try having a baby and see how that affects your career
This bring me memories of the Gillette toxic masculinity campaign which backfired spectacularly for them. Why are we shaming one gender over another to get a “message across” when all that is happening is creation of a greater divide?
Ok, so we’re engaging in ‘what about-ism’ now?
So instead of acknowledging that yes, there is clear evidence men are being actively discriminated against you’ve chosen to invalidate this problem because you chose to start a family? I’m out fam.
Love to hear your POV.
Pretty sure they’re the comments at the top
Generally I am a firm believer that feminism should represent and activate for equality not the discrimination and sh*tting on men. But can you blame women for being mad? While you’ve experience discomfort since #metoo era, you’re discounting the historical and ongoing female experience beyond the issue in this campaign. From pink tax, pay gap, loss of super, discrimination when you’re of child bearing age, limitations on opportunity as a result, underrepresentation in government or executive positions, shouldering more household burden, caregiving responsibilities, medical professional dismissiveness of health issues, and let’s not get started on walking home with your car keys between your knuckles and the centuries of violence and assault.
Wait until you see the ratio of AWARD school tutors this year…
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re the same commenter who took the conversation off-topic above. We were talking about the advertising industry, why are we now talking about car keys in carparks?
Since you’ve opened up the conversation to apparently everything male/female related what do I do here, rattle off a laundry list of mens issues such as wildly disproportionate rates of male suicide, custody, incarceration, workplace deaths, homelessness, false rape allegations, paternity fraud? I could go on but I’d rather watch the footy. Y’know, ‘cos I’m a man.
It’s almost as if we all face various forms of discrimination. The difference being, male issues don’t matter apparently.
Women don’t stop being women because they work in adland. Car keys in car parks is their reality – as is workplace sexual harassment (27% of women have experienced it). As for false rape allegations, Vic Pol states less than 5% of allegations are found to be false. You’re grasping at straws mate. Learn your facts – attending an IWD event might help with that.
Absolutely there are male issues that are important and need action.
The difference between your laundry list and mine is that MOST of that female list happens to a majority proportion of women, some of it a daily occurrence. We directly live that female experience day in and day out.
Whatever anyone says the approach was arguably ill considered.
Let’s all move on.
Spare a thought for the poor dudes who had to work on this
..girl dudes presumably.
How sad that most of these comments go directly against the list of how to be an ally on their campaign website. Here’s hoping that maybe in time you’ll all wake up to your privilege and develop some empathy.
This is how you recruit allies? From the campaign website: ‘This IWD, we’re officially extending the invitation to men in a way they can’t ignore. By using a method of communication some men might be familiar with, we’re turning unsolicited dick pics into Unsolicited Invites to IWD. It’s the invite men didn’t ask for, but most definitely need. And we need your help to spread them. ‘
I’m guessing you haven’t read the comments…
‘If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticise.’ – Voltaire
What you’re not understanding from the comments is the push back against FTC labelling all men as dick pick sending misogynists. We’re not. Most of us agree with your cause. We have wives and daughters too. But the simple fact is this campaign is blinkered and offensive to the vast majority of men in our industry.
Oh don’t worry, I’m aware.
Perhaps I should have been more specific, I was replying to the commenter above who said ‘Straight white men in advertising are currently being discriminated against en masse but we’re not allowed to say anything unless we want our careers destroyed overnight.’
Could not agree more.
“Not all men”. Have you heard this one? If you have three cakes and knew one is poisoned, you wouldn’t trust any of them.
Guess what, a huge majority of women have received an unsolicited dick pick. What do you expect when that feels like the norm?
I was referring to these points below.
Lead with listening. As women discuss their (often sensitive) experiences, it’s important to avoid mansplaining or solution-finding. Even if it’s coming from a genuine place. Listening and acknowledging is the best way to validate their experiences, and for you to learn.
It’s important we recognise how bias plays a role in gender equality. Take time to reflect on how gender has influenced the opportunities that you’ve had, challenge your privilege and expose yourself to different perspectives.
Holy mother of whoosh.
And just like that, we’re right back at step 1.
Did you even read the comments?
‘“Not all men”. Have you heard this one? If you have three cakes and knew one is poisoned, you wouldn’t trust any of them.’
There are 3.97 billion men on this planet and you’ve chosen not to trust any of them.
I’m out. You can’t argue with crazy.
So, from your cupcake analogy, what you’re advocating is for an advertising industry free of all men? Because we’re all poisoned?
This is a disappointig for all concerned. The organisation,the agency and for the men who might have otherwise attended this function if they’d been addressed more empathetically.
Such a missed opportunity.
Oh by the way happy International Womens Day everyone.
“Women, show up for men’s mental health.”
Nah, doesn’t work.
Why is this article quoting ‘Because that’s the place now where we see that there’s still a lot more men than women.’ when the Advertising Council of Australia has the percentage of women in advertising at 56%?
I ally with women, and only if we work on issues affecting men first.
33% of boys and men are proven sexual assault and sexual mutilation victims at birth via circumcision.
Not one woman’s group has allied with men to work against that endemic abuse.
No pain killers
Six weeks of sexual pain
1% chance of being sterile or unable to have sex, reproduce.
Let’s ally women and work on preventing bodily injury and sexual trauma to non consenting newborn baby boys.
His first memory of life should not be sexual abuse and six weeks of pain.
Just imagine you are a man for a second attending one of these events. Imagine listening to a huge group of women complaining about how awful being a woman is and why men are the problem. Imagine trying to treat women equally and respectfully your whole life but still getting treated as the enemy, while also seeing many women who are treated better than men but still complain and use “discrimination” and “sexism” as excuses to discriminate and be sexist. Maybe now you can understand why men don’t want to go to these events.
How about we all just stop f*cking attacking each other and get along.
Hire the right person for the job these days (and not these stupid mandatory quotas and reverse-discrimination policies that don’t help anyone in the long run) and before you know it you’re gonna have a diverse creative department regardless.
It’s called ‘meritocracy’ people.
How good is it sinking 15 years of your life into advertising while being nothing but supportive of your female colleagues (some of which became my very best friends). Doing the late nights, weekends, etc. only to be told you’re shit for being a man then booted out of the industry.
Hahahaha … read your comment back to yourself … so pathetic
Story time: I worked at an agency a few years ago that had their monthly town-hall meeting on International Women’s Day. Of course, the entire room was decked out in pink with all the other trimmings and was guest MC-d by a gay female employee who did the usual diatribe.
Then it came time to announce the new hires for the month. Cut to a Slides presentation on the massive projector in the auditorium – the background and borders being a pattern of pink-and-red ‘female’ symbols with little ‘Girl power!’ speech bubbles throughout.
The first hire on-screen was a gun developer that had just come to Australia from Mumbai after the agency had been chasing for months. I will never forget looking at his staff shot up on the big screen surrounded by all the pink girl-power messaging then looking at his face in the crowd. The utter confusion and bewilderment was absolutely hilarious.
Anyway, he quit like two weeks later.
I have listened and learned much over the last decade about gender equality,with a determination to do things differently in the two large agencies I have worked in over that time.But I don’t like where this is now going,with FCK Cupcakes unnecessarily combatant campaign being a prime example.But if these are the new rules all I can say is …may the best man/woman win.
So many sad, pathetic excuses for man in the comments … all anonymous … but at for the course – cowards
Maybe you’ve been out of the industry for a while but any male who spoke out publicly against this campaign would be tarred as speaking out about women’s right in general, bullied and chastised. I would say they are simply preserving their careers. Nice name by the way. Coward.
Women had equality a long time ago, now it’s about power.
So who are you Rowdy?
Your hypocrisy is breathtaking.
I happen to know for a fact that almost every recruitment brief that comes across my table specifically requests “Females only” to be considered for creative roles. What ever happened to meritocracy? The person who is the best fit or has the best portfolio gets the job? Is this helping the work – or filling a quota for the agency to crow about? I don’t have all the answers, but this work feels weird and a bit gross to be honest.
If you’re offended by this campaign then you’re clearly part of the problem. End of.
Shame to see this commentary veer so off topic. This is CB not the UN. We’re here to discuss the work. Which in this instance is just not very good. The dick pic posters in particular are just crass toilet humour (oh the irony): “stick this in”, “getting all up in your inbox”, “balls in your court”. Yes we get it. Dick jokes on a dick pic background that read like they were written by the very same middle-aged mysogonists they’re supposed to be berating. Amateurish and such a wasted opportunity when this could have been a such a meaningful message that could actually make a difference.
You’ve just encapsulated Fourth wave feminism encapsulated in a nutshell:
Step 1. Launch a scathing, bigoted and belittling attack on men.
Step 2. Claim to be the victim despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Step 3. Nurture an environment of resentment and hostility until you have most men silenced for fear of being cancelled.
Step 4. Push them to breaking point.
Step 5. Call them babies when they stand up for themselves.
It seems a number of commenters have reacted to the critcisms in this thread. However while I can see how some of the more critical comments may be ‘distasteful’ and possibly even offensive to the creators of this campaign, they are merely expressing a contrary opinion and many of them reasonably articulately so. The language itself here is no worse than that in the name of this organisation “Fck The Cupcakes”. And in fact the most offensive part of all of this IMHO is the ‘dick pic’ posters above which are genuinely offensive. Yes I know ‘shock tactics’ can be a powerful creative force, but I question the merit of their application for such an important message. They demean the entire campaign, not to mention the very audience they’re supposed to be addressing. Just because “Fck The Cupcakes” are taking the initiative on this topic doesn’t make them immune from criticism of their work or their messaging, both of which could benefit from a more considered, mature and inclusive approach.
Bloody well said. Hopefully we can leave it at that.
Id really appreciate the agency contributing to the conversation.If it were my campaign I would want readers and critics here to understand why this approach was taken. They don’t have to be defensive,I’d just like to understand their thinking.
I am truly curious.