Not There campaign in the US highlights gender inequality

Last Sunday, on International Women's Day, certain media and advertising in the US was eerily devoid of women, as magazines and billboards removed images of female models and celebrities and instead directed audiences to, a website reporting on the current state of gender equality...

The project was created by Droga5 ad agency on behalf of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. It coincides with the Foundation's release of a new report, titled the No Ceilings Full Participation Report, which uses data to review the status of women and girls since 1995. The conclusion of the report – that we're 'not there yet' on gender equality – forms the inspiration for the wider campaign.

The striking campaign was created in collaboration with a wide range of brands, from Beats to the New York City Ballet, Condé Nast to H&M, and is also accompanied by a film, below, starring the voices of Amy Poehler, Cameron Diaz, Jenny Slate, Padma Lakshmi and Sienna Miller, which despite the seriousness of the subject is actually pretty funny.

A map, here, shows the various sites in New York City where the Not There campaign appeared. This is not the first time that brands have worked together to promote another product or cause: the Lego Movie ad break saw brands such as Premier Inn and BT create Lego versions of their TV spots, while the Paddy Power Rainbow Laces Metro takeover featured numerous brands collaborating to tackle homophobia in sport. But this is an especially wide-ranging example, with adaptations made to billboard ads, magazine covers, shop windows, and book covers.

As might be expected, it required significant teamwork to pull off. "Gender equality is something big that powerful players are lining up to support, so getting people on board with the Not There message was actually the easy part," says Droga5 creative director Casey Rand. "The logistics of scrubbing women out of existing advertising was slightly harder. Hundreds of people collaborated to make this happen, from the heads of global brands, to the media companies who supplied the space, to the models and photographers who posed for and shot the images, to the men and women who physically installed the pieces. Never before have this many partners and brands joined hands to execute one cohesive campaign. The effort really was unprecedented, which speaks to the power of the cause."

As well as facts and figures on gender equality around the world, the Not There website also features calls-to-action for people to take to show their support for its message. See more at

Agency: Droga5 New York
Creative chairman: David Droga
Vice chairman: Andrew Essex
CCO: Ted Royer
ECD: Kevin Brady
Creative directors: Casey Rand, Karen Land Short
Creatives: Colin Lord, Inna Kofman
Chief creation officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Director: Alison Maclean
Production company: Park Pictures
Post: The Mill, New York