TBWA\Dublin’s campaign says there are ‘No Excuses’ for sexual harassment and violence

Ads, Creativity

Creative agency TBWA\Dublin launches a compelling new campaign for the Department of Justice and Equality. The two campaign films aim to address the lack of awareness of sexual harassment and violence in everyday life – issues that have been ignored or excused for far too long in Ireland.

The first film, ‘Does Ireland Have a Problem’, is directed by Brendan Canty and produced by Antidote films. It features a voiceover by poet Stephen James Smith, which addresses the audience directly by asking, ‘Is this a problem?’, as five scenes of sexual harassment play out – from groping, physical harassment, domestic violence, to a potential sexual assault. The relatability of these scenes was paramount to demonstrate how sexual harassment and violence easily coalesce in Ireland.

For the second film, TBWA\Dublin created a truly responsive campaign powered by Ireland’s excuses. The agency relayed the scenes from the first film to a series of focus groups and recorded their reactions. Their excuses for the sexual harassment and violence highlighted the lack of awareness around the gravity of this issue. This re-edited version became the basis of the second phase of broadcast.

Des Creedon, Creative Director at TBWA\Dublin explains: “For us, the process of creating a campaign always begins with a simple insight. What rang truest for us was the idea that in Ireland, whenever we observe or encounter sexual violence and sexual harassment, we’re inclined to absent ourselves of any responsibility – or worse still, excuse behaviour that’s totally inexcusable.”

“For the purposes of raising awareness, fueling a wider conversation and inciting change, we liked the idea of a campaign that evolved, or unfolded the issue for our audiences. With this in mind, the creative team of Niall McDonnell and Cian Tormey designed a campaign that first raised awareness of the issue but then reflected Ireland’s attitude towards sexual violence and harassment by reflecting the excuses we make for such behavior.”

Head of Account Management, Paula Kelly explains: “We used the first version of the ad as a catalyst to get the people of Ireland to question themselves and their own behaviours. And this it certainly did. But once the problem was identified we knew we need to do more to try and create meaningful change.”


Client: Department of Justice

  • Principal Officer: Greg J. Heylin
  • Assistant Principal Officer: Paula J Connolly
  • Executive Director : Marion Walsh
  • Executive Officer: Daniel Fitzpatrick
  • Ministers Media Advisor: Caroline Murphy
  • Press Officer: Andrew Payne

Agency: TBWA\ Dublin

  • CEO: Deirdre Waldron
  • Creative Director: Des Creedon
  • Senior Art Director: Cian Tormey
  • Senior Copywriter: Niall McDonnell
  • Digital Creative Director: Geoff Barker
  • Agency Producer: Ana Baena Sanchez
  • Head of Client Services: Paula Kelly
  • Account Director: Eibhin McLoughlin
  • Account Manager: Ruth Gill
  • Director of Social Media & Content: Andrew Murray
  • Social Media & Content Specialist: Tomas McCabe
  • Social Media & Content Executive: Amy Tumelty
  • Senior Planner: Kathleen Moore
  • Brand Planner: Lucy Remitz
  • Junior Planner: Niamh O’Shaughnessy
  • Production Company: Antidote
  • Producer: Andrew Freedman
  • Production Manager: Paula Stewart
  • Director: Brendan Canty
  • Post House: Windmill Lane
  • Audio Post: Mutiny

The TBWA\Dublin Group was established in Dublin in 1992. The driving vision in the early years was to challenge the conventions of the business and to lead the thinking within the industry. From the very beginning, the company earned a reputation for strategic insight and creative excellence. In 2002, the agency joined the TBWA\ network when it joined Omnicom. Today the TBWA\Dublin Group is a multi award winning full-service agency, which includes the TBWA\DAN Data Lab and the TBWA\Make production company.