Cindy Gallop is calling for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to be eradicated across the advertising industry to break the silence surrounding sexual harassment.
Gallop, the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn and a long campaigner for equality across the industry, said NDAs have an “appalling prevalence” across the industry and are silencing victims to protect the perpetrators.
She believes NDAs are contributing to the women feeling isolated and powerless within their organisations and in turn create a “clean slate” for the abuser, enabling further abuse and putting other women in danger.
"I want to see the leaders of every holding company and agency network announce their eradication immediately,” she said in an interview with Campaign.
“We cannot have progress without full transparency on who the harassers and bullies in our industry are and whether or not they face repercussions. Why on earth would anyone silence a victim instead of firing a harasser? If you're trying to gag victims, you know you're rotten at the core."
AdNews worked with Gallop last year in her mission to name the Harvey Weinstein's of advertising. After months of investigation, one of the many reasons women would not come forward with their stories of sexual harassment was due to NDAs enforcing their silence.
In several circumstances, when investigating bullying allegations inside one of Australia’s media companies, victims cited NDAs they were made to sign to silence them after their departure from the business.
The call to end NDAs comes as the advertising industry continues to fight the issue of sexual harassment across the industry.
Following the launch of Time’s Up Advertising in the US, a number of senior female leaders in Australian agencies have formed the same alliance in Australia, promising to find out what is needed in this market to better support women in the workplace.
Since the Weinstein watershed moment, The Agency Circle, which launched in 2016 in response to increasing frustrations around diversity, has found the number of people reported experiencing sexual harassment has dropped by 18%.
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