ActionAid UK and Weber's #BrutalCut disrupts content to raise awareness of FGM

Weber Shandwick and outdoor media partner Clear Channel have launched a campaign with ActionAidUK to draw attention to the risks and dangers surrounding female genital mutilation (FGM).

ActionAid UK is a long-term retained client of Weber. It works with the charity on a mixture of pro-bono and paid work, including a rain-triggered ad in November last year, to highlight the impact of climate change.

The #BrutalCut campaign is part of Weber's Impact Project where staff are encouraged to donate their time to non-profit causes that make a difference in people's lives.

#BrutalCut, a fully integrated digital campaign, will show messages from Kenyan girls facing the threat of FGM, disrupting a range of content, including celebrities and vloggers’ YouTube and Instagram videos.

Weber’s executive creative director James Nester told PRWeek that a significant focus of the idea had been making it "media neutral" – a range of media from cinema trailers to podcasts will be interrupted with these messages in an effort to reach as many people as possible. One example is below:

"This is an issue most people don’t want to confront. So we needed a brutally disruptive idea," Nester said. "An idea bold enough to break free of its channel to become news and social currency."

The public will also be able to take part via the brutalcut.org website, where anyone can add a "brutal cut" to their videos or photos and share them on social media.

Support for the campaign has also been provided by youth talent and content co-creation agency Latimer, while Clear Channel is hosting "synchronised disruption" of digital outdoor across its national network of digital sites, including the One Piccadilly screen. Publishers including The Lad Bible group have also come on board and will cut their content across social, while celebrities such as Alesha Dixon, Katherine Kelly and Joanne Froggatt also interrupted their own videos with the messages.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness surrounding the short-term and longer-term dangers of FGM, as well as help raise funds to provide safe centres for girls fleeing FGM in Kenya.

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