“Reclaim Her Name” gives women authors the credit they deserve

Mary Ann Evans and Amantine Aurore Dupin probably don’t ring much of a bell for most people, even those who are avid readers of literature. Definitely not as much as these women’s exalted noms de plume “George Eliot” and “George Sand”, pseudonyms these brilliant women took on in order to get their work published and read in a world that overwhelmingly ignored or disdained the expression of women. Some smart folks at VMLY&R decided to help change that, and to honor women authors, by publishing their work in their true names in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK.

From Campaign:

Baileys has partnered The Women’s Prize for Fiction to create a collection of novels that were written by women but originally published under male pseudonyms.

Over the centuries, many female writers have felt compelled to publish work under a male name to be taken seriously. To highlight this, the Baileys’ collection celebrates the work of  writers including Mary Ann Evans, Ann Petry and Amantine Aurore Dupin (pen names George Eliot, Arnold Petri and George Sand, respectively) to mark 25 years of The Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Last year, the Irish liqueur brand launched a series of events around the Women’s Prize for Fiction, including a “Baileys book bar” pop-up at Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road, London.

From Creative Brief.com:

The campaign honours and celebrates female authors and will include the first ever publication of Middlemarch under George Elliot’s real name, Mary Ann Evans.

Each of the 25 books in the library features newly commissioned cover artwork which was created by female designers and the full collection will be available to download as free e-books. The team carefully selected each of the 25 books, searching archives, online and university resources to identify female writers who disguised their gender with pseudonyms. The collection includes A Phantom Lover by Violet Paget (pen name Vernon Lee) and Marie of the Cabin Club by Ann Petry (pen name Arnold Petri).

Liz Petry, daughter of Anne Petry, explained her pride at her mother’s inclusion under her own name. She says: “When I was asked if my mother’s work could be included within such a worthy collection of books along with other impressive female writers, I was honoured. I’m incredibly proud of my mother’s work and it excites me that her writing has been introduced to a new audience through this collection. I know she would be thrilled to be a part of this as it’s an incredible conversation starter for such an important cause. My mother always believed in a world with shared humanity and I think this project encapsulates that.”

Tamryn Kerr, Creative Director, VMLY&R added: “Many of the authors we selected were suffragettes and staunch feminists. I’d like to think of this project as our way of thanking them for what they did for us, and of supporting a new generation of artists through the new cover art that 13 inspiring female illustrators, from all over the world, created for the Reclaim Her Name collection.”

What happens when you google Middlemarch…



Check out all the other titles being published

Why it’s hot:

1. Middlemarch, first published in 1871, will be published under the author’s real name for the first time.

2. This gives other publishers more permission to publish these titles with the authors’ true names. And on the flip side, in this day and age, would a publisher be bold enough stupid enough to continue to publish Middlemarch under the name George Eliot? In 50 years, will Mary Ann Evans be more well known than George Eliot?

3. Baileys seems like an odd pairing, but it’s smart of them to attach themselves to an undeniably positive movement in the literary world.

Source: Creative Brief

Guerilla “Beach Body” Ad Backlash Goes Viral, Shows Brands How NOT to Respond

Since launching its “Beach Body” campaign in the UK, Protein World has been catching a lot of flack for its sexist advertising.The ads, which had popped up around the London metro system, prompted readers to question, “Are you beach body ready?” and quickly caused a stir last week for their role in promoting unhealthy body images among girls and women.

In response, riders of the transit system began to deface the advertisements with foul language, and creating a post-worthy spectacle across social media.


People began using the campaign’s copy against it, twisting the CTA into its own hashtag #EachBodysReady giving the campaign more legs and representation among more people.


As buzz grew, the guerilla tactics evolved from more and more advocates. Artists staged bikini-clad protests, feminists and allies bombarded Protein World with criticisms, and an online petition requesting the campaign’s removal garnered over 50,000 supporters in just a few days.


You’d think Protein World might concede defeat. But no.

Protein World and its CEO Arjun Seth doubled down on their stance to dictate how your body should look. Through the branded handle, the company fired back at critics as “sympathisers” and “fatties.” The brand even went so far as to call the critics “terrorists” and suggest that they should not project their own “issues” on the Protein World brand.


Showing how brands should not behave online, Protein World even went so far as to boast about its paying out bonuses for a surge in sales following the aftermath.


So what happened?

After receiving more than 270 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, Transport for London has pulled the campaign citing its promotion of “unhealthy body image” to riders.

Why It’s Hot

The Protein World case study is a weird one, in that the brand has shown you can alienate a huge part of the population and still come out OK if you’ve galvanized the right support among your advocates. At the risk of their brand’s integrity, Protein World clearly tapped into some deeper sentiment among its most fervent customers. Those who hold similar views and are likely buying to voice support. Though the campaign was ultimately removed, Protein World managed to gain a big bump on all the publicity in its wake. Protein World demonstrates that when you’re selling image, doing what’s “right” isn’t always what’s best for business–so long as it’s right for your core demo. But will “Beach Body” come back to bite them?

Source: BuzzFeed

#LikeABoy Backlash Only Proves the Point that #LikeAGirl Makes

During Super Bowl XLIX, feminine care brand Always caused a bit of a ruckus among Internet haters with its #LikeAGirl campaign. The campaign, which aired its first spot in June of last year, uses “real people” to act out how girls run, jump, punch and kick. The aim is to female empowerment, meant to draw attention to the crippling social atmosphere that tells us doing something “like a girl” is to do it badly, weakly and ultimately inferior to how a boy would do it.

Now, you might think a message that promotes women would be universally lauded. And by most accounts it was. Always cut through football’s male-oriented culture with a positive, eye-opening message and inspired movement where few women’s brands play. Always was right brand, in the right moment, with the right message. Women loved it, helping push the hashtag to trend by sharing powerful content about strength and femininity.

good tweet

But that didn’t sit right with the meninists of the world.

Following the spots airing during the big game, anti-feminist oafs galvanized to mount a virulent reaction against the ad. Dubbed #LikeABoy, the response took many shapes. From misunderstanding that the #LikeAGirl message was an attack of men, not promoting gender equality…



…to flat out sexism rooted in patriarchy, ignorance and hate not even worth sharing on this platform.

What these  “men’s rights” advocates miss is critical point: they as part of the patriarchy are the majority, and part of the problem. #LikeAGirl isn’t a campaign to establish female superiority; it’s a movement to identify that our language and culture (and through their use, we) are degrading women by associating women with the lesser. It’s no different than the negativity around the term “gay” (i.e. “Yo that’s gay!” to mean “bad”).

Fortunately, women and feminist allies showed they were up for the fight. When #LikeABoy began to gain steam, this vocal group took over the hashtag to point out its stupidity and misunderstanding of how gender inequality works.



And yes, men “who get it” got in on the action and show their support:

OE Tweet

Why It’s Hot

Always took a bold step forward for women everywhere with #LikeAGirl. The spot got people talking, good and bad. And the power of the women’s rights movement shows that brands who speak to and empower under-served communities online can do more than with brownie points. what’s funny out of all this is that the Always brand didn’t get caught in the fight, their audience did. And their audience fought back. Scrolling through the top tweets in #LikeABoy are evidence of that.

Source: Huffington Post

Barbie Gets Her Own LinkedIn Profile

Taking the personality of “Entrepreneur Barbie,” Mattel has created a LinkedIn page for its Barbie brand entity. Claiming to promote “female empowerment,” the page appears as a celebration of female accomplishments in their careers.


The page is written in the first-person, bringing Barbie to life postured with a profile not unlike that which real person might have, while still maintaining the signature brand voice. In her profile, Barbie describes herself in the context of her 150+ careers and her new fictional company “Dream Incubator”:

“My new business is ‘Dream Incubator’ where I act as a consultant, helping girls around the world play out their imagination, try on different careers, and explore the world around them. Our company tagline is ‘If you can dream it, you can be it!””

Why It’s Hot

There is no question that Barbie is the unequivocal #1 toy brand for girls. But in the context of recent market backlash from new competitors like GoldieBlox, the Barbie brand is under siege in ways that haven’t ever been before. Barbie’s LinkedIn page is an interesting approach to positioning Barbie as a pro-empowerment brand, without doing much damage to hurt Barbie’s existing market position as a traditional and hyper-feminine “girls toy.”  As a LInkedIn page, Mattel is clearly not trying to engage young girls themselves. Rather, the page is likely a ploy to generate press by reaching parents, mommy bloggers and influencers that might otherwise question whether Barbie is a truly appropriate toy to give our next generation of girls.

Via DesignTaxi