JWT Canada gets dads to talk about consent

The agency wants to change what "20 minutes of action" means.

Effective cause campaigns often manage to flip offending language on its head, giving it a positive spin, and J. Walter Thompson Canada has come up with a doozy.

In partnership with White Ribbon, a movement of men and boys looking to end violence against women and girls, the agency has based a new campaign around an appalling line from the a recent rape trial involving  Stanford University student Brock Turner.

A website, 20minutesofaction4change.org, calls on #DadsWhoGiveADamn to pledge “20 minutes of action” to speak to their sons about consent and respect for women. The language comes from a letter Brock Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote to the judge, asking that his son only receive probation.¬†“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve,” he wrote. “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life.”

Turner received a six-month sentence, which led to public outrage.

“Having two sons, this phrase really upset me and the other fathers at the agency,” said Ryan Spelliscy, CCO at J. Walter Thompson Toronto, in a release. “The idea sparked from a group of dads wanting to take responsibility and lead by example. It’s a conversation that must be had to effect change.”

The site went live on Father’s Day. After dads spend 20 minutes talking to their sons about boundaries and a woman’s right to say no, they’re asked to share their pledge.

The agency is promoting the initiative on social media to extend its reach.

Organization: Dads who give a damn
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Canada