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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
175 Bloor Street East, North Tower
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R9
+416 925 5997

Susan Zwaal

Director, Human Resources

Ben Tarr


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Leo Burnett Beirut’s ‘#UNDRESS522’ Campaign Wins D&AD Impact White Pencil

After receiving five Lions at Cannes this year, “#UNDRESS522” was awarded a White Pencil at the 2017 D&AD Impact Awards

In the second annual D&AD Impact Awards, Advertising Week and D&AD once again recognized this year’s purpose-based campaigns that have had a real impact and help contribute toward a better, fairer and more sustainable future.

Named one of the 15 most transformative creative ideas that changed the world this year, the powerful “#UNDRESS522” campaign for the ABAAD Resource Center for Gender Equality set out to repeal Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which enables perpetrators of rape to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims.

When ABAAD, a women’s rights NGO, discovered only 1 percent of the Lebanese knew about Article 522, they asked Leo Burnett Beirut to raise awareness and put pressure on Parliament to abolish it. Leo Burnett decided that if the law hides the crime with a white dress, it is important to undress the law.

A video featured a women being tortured in a wedding dress with the tagline “A White Dress Does Not Cover the Rape.” The video’s overwhelming response from the public put pressure on Parliament to assign a commission specifically to discuss the law.

Next, 13 rape victims wearing white dresses stood in front of Parliament to protest the article and an official petition was launched. To continue putting pressure on Parliament, ABAAD also set up a public installation of 31 hanged white dresses.

In response, the commission drafted an amendment to abolish the article, which Parliament ultimately approved. But this campaign did not only make a life-changing impact in Lebanon. When Tunisia also started adoping the campaign and hashtag, the Tunisian government decided three days later to amend its law as well.

Overall, the campaign garnered more than 2.8 billion media impressions, 7.5 million views, 52,000 shares, 21,000 signatures, 230 publications in more than 100 countries and $9.5 million in earned media value. The work also picked up five Lions at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Fesitval of Creativity.

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett India, Brazil and Chicago were also regonized for their world-changing work and received D&AD Impact Wood Pencils during the ceremony.

See the full list of this year’s impressive winners.