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The Body Shop: STOP Sex Trafficking

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The Body Shop and Strategic Objectives joined forces to fight against human trafficking.

When The Body Shop took the bold position to build awareness of the tragic problem of sex trafficking, we attacked the issue head-on. We challenged misconceptions and inspired action with taboo-shattering news and PR.

Background

As the agency of record for The Body Shop for more than twenty years, together we pioneered social responsibility marketing in Canada. Our award-winning campaigns have supported multiple issues: human rights, the environment, animal protection and more.

The awareness campaign, "Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People," exposed the issue and inspired change. We worked with Beyond Borders, the Canadian affiliate of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes).

The Challenge

Bring a Taboo Subject into the Light

Sex trafficking was not perceived as a Canadian issue, yet it is happening in communities across the country. We needed to break the silence and put sex trafficking on the media agenda.

  • Build profile of the issue and make it relevant!
  • Motivate the public, stakeholders and government
  • Inspire long-term change to help end human trafficking: a modern-day form of slavery

The Solution

A Conversation-Starting, Bilingual Campaign

The campaign kicked off with an exclusive documentary screening event focusing on the issue of sex trafficking of young girls in North America. Playground is a gritty investigation that exposes the commercial child sex industry. More than 30 key media, industry influencers, peers and advocates attended.

  • The impact The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People Campaign (SSTCYP) had on raising consumer awareness was HUGE! Without question, this campaign elevated awareness of not only the issue but Beyond Borders as our organization had minimal awareness prior to this campaign. Our charity’s web traffic dramatically increased during the campaign. Thank you!”

The impact The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People Campaign (SSTCYP) had on raising consumer awareness was HUGE! Without question, this campaign elevated awareness of not only the issue but Beyond Borders as our organization had minimal awareness prior to this campaign. Our charity’s web traffic dramatically increased during the campaign. Thank you!”

Engaging Key Influencers

  • Call to Action: Mobilized Canadian influencers, media, and elected officials to participate in the campaign and sign the petition against sex trafficking in The Body Shop stores or online
  • We engaged Canadian celebrities to sign the petition and create artistic renderings of their handprints, symbolizing support for The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking campaign
  • We also leveraged international support received from Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, Yoko Ono and Jamie Oliver

Experiential Activations for Petition Signatures

  • We staged a spontaneous Flash Mob event in downtown Toronto — We "Stopped Traffic to Stop Sex Trafficking!"
  • This guerrilla-marketing style activation generated buzz, on-the-street engagement and made news. Armed with placards and wearing branded T-shirts, The Body Shop ambassadors literally walked into the street to stop traffic and approached people to sign the petition
  • The campaign culminated with a Petition Presentation of more than 550,000 signatures to the Federal Government on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This petition became the centre of a global presentation to the United Nations

The Result

Recognized in PR News Hall of Fame

65M

media impressions

135+

media stories

  • The Body Shop Canada campaign was recognized nationally and internationally
  • We made people care: moved the issue up the media agenda and made it relevant to Canadians
  • Generated media buzz and secured positive, message-driven branded earned coverage
  • Non-profit partner, Beyond Borders, reported a drastic rise in website traffic and donations during the campaign
  • The campaign made a real difference! This campaign urged the Government of Canada to implement a national plan of action on this issue
  • Canadian signatures were the largest segment of an international petition presented to the United Nations – one of the largest petitions in UN history, and the largest campaign ever for The Body Shop International
  • Campaign has won many awards and is recognized in PR News Hall of Fame
  • Efforts recognized in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
  • Human trafficking was incorporated in the Canadian Government’s "Get Tough on Crime" Bill

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