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The marketing industry anti-sexual harassment initiative, #timeTo, has issued a statement in response to the death of Sarah Everard, with a detailed plan for those that want to take action.

Established in the wake of the #MeToo movement, #timeTo is an industry-wide code of conduct, devised by the collective expertise of the Ad Association (AA), Wacl and Nabs.

“We believe that now is a time more than ever to ensure that this code is recognised and adhered to,“ reads the statement. “All women should feel safe, whether at work, at home or in public and shouldn’t have to experience sexual harassment or any form of harassment.” 

The Drum breaks down #timeTo's action plan. 

How can people take action? 

  • “We know too from the response we have seen within our industry that people want to take action,” claims #timeTo's statement. “If you want to play an active role in making people feel safe, there are a number of things that you can do.”

  • Firstly, it encourages every person in the ad industry to be an ally to their colleague, especially if they have concerns about their safety. “We appreciate from the responses we have seen that men, in particular, want to understand how they can best support their women colleagues and so, beyond the training, we have gathered a series of useful links and articles which we believe may be helpful,” it says, pointing people in the direction of #timeTo's website.

  • Secondly, it advises people to check whether their company is an endorser of #timeTo, and if so, whether it is fulfilling its promise to embed the code of conduct in its company culture. 

  • Lastly, it took the moment to point people in the direction of its training program, which it launched earlier this year.

Why does it matter?

  • Sarah Everard's death has sparked a social movement in the UK about women's safety. The public outpouring has exposed the sexual abuse that many women face daily, revealing how little has been done to protect women since the #MeToo movement three years ago. 

  • Just like the rest of society, the marketing industry has lagged in making workplaces safer for women. Last month, it emerged that a mere seven of the UK’s 273 ad agencies signed up to the #timeTo cross-industry anti-sexual harassment initiative had actually completed its sexual harassment in the workplace workshop.

  • There is a lot of work to be done, therefore, in stamping out sexual harassment for good. Sexual harassment comes in many guises. But that doesn’t mean business leaders shouldn’t work to prevent it. 

What is timeTo?

  • Set up in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018, #timeTo was established by Nabs, the AA and Wacl to address the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. It aims to make the ad industry a safer place for everyone to work without fear of sexual harassment.

  • Over 250 companies in the marketing industry has since endorsed the initiative, aligned themselves with timeTo's code of conduct.  

  • To raise awareness of instances when an individuals behaviour crosses the line into appropriateness, #timeTo and Lucky Generals devised 'Where do you draw the line' in October 2018. It brought the campaign, with a reimagined line to Cannes Lion in 2019, amid alarm at the extent of sexual harassment in the UK advertising and marketing industries.
 
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