Client: Child Focus
Product: Belgian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children
Title: Child Porn Re-enactment
Date Of Campaign: 15/11/2019
Background: The problem of child porn is growing at an alarming rate. New studies estimate that more than 19 million images and videos of child sex abuse are shared online every day between pedophiles. Also the images become more violent and extreme, while the average age of the victims has dropped from 8 to 4 years old. Although the horrifying problem of child sex abuse is growing at an alarming rate, it is also easily ignored. Precisely because it’s so horrifying. People tend to look away and sometimes even minimize the problem. They know it’s bad, but actually they don’t. And yet another opinion piece or article with new numbers doesn’t do the trick anymore. Child Focus therefor was looking for a serious wake up call.
Idea: Meet Goedele Liekens, Belgium’s most famous sexologist. She wrote eight books about sex and hosted several tv-shows in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. And she’s been a UN ambassador for sexual education and care for girls for 15 years. In November 2019 she announced the release of her first porn movie to battle a misconception about pornography on her social media channels. This teasing announcement immediately triggered a lot of speculation on social media and news websites. A few days later, on November 18th, the European End Child Sex Abuse Day, the video was released. What everyone believed was going to be a porn movie turned out to be a shocking campaign for Child Focus, the Belgian Center for Missing and Sexually Abused Children. The video was an exact re-enactment of real footage of sexual abuse that was intercepted online. With one exception: it featured an adult woman instead of a child. It was based on the descriptions given by the Child Focus team that analyses reported footage. The video’s website was supported with an explanatory interview, a brave testimony from a victim and concrete steps on how to help.
Results: Since its release, the campaign instantly dominated all national, and even international media and sparked a huge debate for days. A debate that continued in the Belgian and European parliament where four concrete resolutions were made top priority. Also Facebook Belgium and Google agreed on stronger initiatives to tackle the problem. The video was viewed over 1 million times in one week. The campaign gained more than 1.7 million euro in earned media. All this led to a 217% increase of child sex abuse reports. A result that’s even more shocking than the campaign itself.