L'Oréal Makes Content Advisories Alerting Viewers to Harassment
It's easy to forget how fast norms change. You'll watch a rerun from the not-too-distant past, and something in it will smack you. Why did anyone think that was okay? For us, one such example is Crazy, Stupid Love. That movie was hilarious when it came out. But a year later, upon rewatching it, the whole premise was an unending cringe.
Reruns are big business in Brazil. But classics have this weird problem, right? We've changed. Some stuff that was funny in the '90s fails to amuse in 2023. Maybe it's not a great idea for the guy you hate to suddenly yank you into a passionate embrace. Then there's all that "flattering" whistling, which … we're not even going to talk about.
In response to this, and alongside WMcCann, L'Oréal Brazil has launched an initiative called "Harassment Advisory." It basically remixes content warnings you might see on TV, except these will appear online. Based on the brand's "Stand Up" training methodology, the advisories alert you to stuff like stalking, inappropriate comments, public humiliation or non-consensual touching.
Stand Up is an anti-harassment movement that L'Oréal Paris developed in partnership with Right to Be, a nonprofit that provides free intervention training for people either witnessing or enduring harassment. The methodology incorporated by L'Oréal has apparently proven to reduce cases of violence by 17 percent.
In the case of “Harassment Advisory,” Stand Up identifies eight different types of questionable content that might appear in shows or movies.
"We understand that our role goes beyond alerting and talking about situations of harassment on the streets. It is essential to start from education as a promoter of transformation in society," says Laura Parkinson, director of L'Oréal Brazil. This particular campaign "shows how actions that were previously taken for granted must now be looked at with care and attention.” Parkinson adds that the work reinforces L’Oréal’s commitment to empowering and supporting women.
The first shows to feature advisories will be chosen in partnership with streaming service Vix, which is operated by Televisa, one of the biggest soap opera producers in the world. In addition to seeing an advisory ahead of the content, viewers are invited to take part in free training on the Stand Up platform.
L’Oréal Brazil hopes other platforms will join the initiative. It also offers anti-harassment courses to TV stations, production houses and streaming firms in an effort to de-normalize harassment in audiovisual content. (Not a moment too soon. Did you hear about all the drama behind the drama that was Lost?!)
Now, "Harassment Advisories" may prove as effective as current content alerts, which we mostly ignore, or the creepy images on cigarette packs in Europe, which are sometimes so over-the-top they're funny.
But as we've already observed, norms change fast, and these advisories seem to reflect that reality. Every home is different, but some parents want to know if there's going to be foul language or light erotica in a piece of entertainment they're teeing up for dinnertime. It stands to reason that the parents of current generations will want a heads-up if there's going to be "comical" racism (yo, Sixteen Candles!) or some previously "hilarious" violence against what, at first glance, appears to be a trans person (that uncomfortable post-bathroom scene in Mrs. Doubtfire).
Kids play-act behavior, and that stuff merits a convo (and not a ban, we hasten to add). That's how we can benchmark how far we've come.
We also appreciate that L'Oréal's not resting on its laurels in harassment training or letting these advisories do the heavy lifting on their own. We like that they're trying to spread intervention skillsets among viewers and within the industry. As anyone in advertising or entertainment knows, so much bad behavior continues because folks in privileged professions think they're in bubbles. Work like this could empower more people around them to pop those illusions before they get too big.
More examples of the advisories appear below. Click to enlarge:
Client: L'Oréal Paris
Work: Harassment Advisory
Brand team: Laura Parkinson, Marcella Conde, Carolina Garello, Monique Maltaroli e Fabiola Duarte
Chairman: Hugo Rodrigues
CEO: André França
CCO: Mariana Sá
Executive VP WMcCann Rio: Marcio Borges
Creative Director: Ricardo Weitsman
Associate Creative Director: João Resende
Art Director: Bruno Mukai, Ana Rocha and Gustavo Rodrigues
Copywriter: Humberto Nogueira, Roberta Bichara
COO & CSO: Renata Bokel
Planner: Luiza Portella, Marianna Valmoré e Julianna Villar
Content Head: Patrícia Colombo
Content: Stella Peixinho, Natalia Pennacino, Rodolfo de Oliveira, Lorena Manso, Daniella Brandão
Account: Ana Paula Perdigão, Katarina Nunes e Renata Castello Branco
Media VP: Andreia Abud
Media: Romana Oliveira, Clauder Sousa, Perla Ribeiro, Beatriz Matte, Priscilla Edmundo, Ana Chasco, Letícia Leitão, Marcella Prates
BI: Felipe Borges, Ingrid Barros, Danilo Borges
Production Director: Camila Naito
Production: Bianca Repsold e Mariana Veronez
Production Company: Craft Brasil
Post Production Company: Craft Brasil
Executive producer: Shunji Ikuta
Direction: Andre Nagae
Motion: Rafael Ranulfo e Matheus Matusalém
Sound Mix: Lucas Duque
Sound Studio: Sonido
Sound Studio Account: Ligia Susini
Graphic production: Mauricio Martim e Nereu Marinho
Finishing artist: Claudio Costa
Retoucher: Flavio Sato
Proofreader: Renata Fontes
Project Manager: Erika Casal, Felipe Ribeiro, Samantha Faria e Larissa Santos
PR: Kerena Neves e Giulia Camargo