Flicka - teaches girls to question media

The social ministry (department) in Sweden has launched an ad campaign that attacks media moguls morals. The campaign can be seen on poster, TV, Cinema and the web site Flicka.org (girl.org, also available as HTML only version at flicka.gov.se). The campaign is created by ad agency Forsman och Bodenfors.
One of the tv commercials which looks like a scene straight from the reality show Big Brother (the show that launched all the latest pop-tarts and famous-for-no-reason people) has a couple making out. Then the girl suddenly turns to the camera and asks: "Does a girl have to have sex on TV to get ahead?" and encourages viewers to ask Manfred Aronsson, CEO of Channel 5 (which Big Brother airs on), and gives out his phonenumber 08-520 555 55.

In another commercial, the usual rap video scene is depicted with half naked women washing cars all the while some rapper raps about sex Ho's that "do it like a pro" and getting down . One of the girls suddenly walks to the camera and asks: "What the heck is this? Why do nearly all videos look like this?" and then suggests you ask Mårten Aglander, CEO of Universal Music and gives out his phone number.

The posters in the campaign are equally critical, questions like "Why does the same magazine lists the best dressed men and the sexiest undressed women?" and "Why does a national newspaper allow ads for phone sex?", all of the posters have contact phone numbers to the people responsible, and the website has email addresses to everyone involved.

All media in the campaign has been donated, posters are seen in the subways and commercials are shown on channel 3 and 4 - but not on the targeted channel 5.

Sara Damber who is the projectleader of the campaign said to Resumé: "The idea behind the campaign is to highlight everyones personal responsibility in the current media climate where objectification and lookism is the norm. It's urgent that we ask questions to the people who are responsible for this type of content."

The flicka group also tours schools and has educating links to media criticism on their website. To watch the commercials click on Flicka.org and look for the words at the bottom "se reklamfilmerna".

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (4)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Ok, so I did'nt understand a word that these girls are saying, so thanx for explaining it first. I just find this, very refreshing, especially coming from a country's ministry.

    Awesome way to approach the problem for kids, and it just raises the old age question: what would you do for ratings? I think it opens the door for debates!

    I applaude the initiative and whoever approved it! Great job! No balls, no babies!

    Oct 26, 2004
  • Andreas-Udd's picture

    While I think it's very healthy to question media and I do like that the ministry is getting involved in the media-education of the young citizens, I think they have made a mistake in making this a girl problem only. In the current climate, anything that even slightly nods to feminism has a way of turning into a Usenet-like flame fest in the national media. Lets face it, media today isn't only a girl-problem, while yes the girls do get to bear most of the negative stereotypical sex-fetish portrayal, it also affects young boys. To really educate the young citizens to question media they should have stepped away from making it a girl only problem, as I now fear that the real important message will get lost. Everyone should question the media. Why is the latest "entertainment" twisted reality shows where people lie and deceive and the shows do the most of the lying? (Think of My Fat obnoxious Fiance, The girl that turned out to be a man, and all other reality-shows). Why is it that journalists today can't - or don't seem willing to - dig deeper and ask questions in regards to anything at all? Why is it that advertising is taking over our public places, like record company "wild posters" all over cities in Europe, without paying the city councils a dime for it? Why are taxpayers paying for the removal of this crap?

    This is a much bigger issue, everyone should question the media. They still have a chance to turns this around. If they create a "Pojke.org" for the boys and do equally hard hitting messages for the young men I think it's a great campaign. I must admit, that Big Brother scenario is spot on.

    Oct 27, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture

    Interestingly enough, it seems that one of the targets for this campaigns attack has joined the discussion (and I say "seemed" as anyone can comment, there are no logins, and everyone in the world knows how to lie, so it could very well be someone else using her name) on Resum

    Oct 27, 2004
  • deeped's picture

    The Swedish socialdepartment and their cohorts have a long tradition on telling the Swedes what they should do and don't do.

    I think the campaign is just shallow and only target the consequences of the sickness.

    Oct 27, 2004

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