Stylist to flood London with 'living statues' of female role models

Stylist magazine wants to flood London with "living statues" of female role models in a stunt to highlight the continued bias that women face.

The campaign, which will be called "Statue of limitations", was named the winner of last night's Goodstuff Media Showcase – an evening where eight media owners presented ideas for brand partnerships to about 30 independent creative agencies.

Lisa Smosarski, editor-in-chief of Stylist, said the publisher came up with the idea to send out "living statues" of historical female figures as part of its "Forgotten Women" initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Britain.

She said Stylist wants to make women "more visible on our streets", after it recently emerged that only 2.7% of statues in the UK are female, if royal women are excluded.

"There are 25 statues of historical, non-royal women – one of whom, incidentally, is a ghost following her dead husband around. There are 498 of historical, non-royal men," Smosarksi said.

To achieve "parity", Stylist hopes to "flood" London with 400 or more "living statues" of women who have shaped industry, politics, science and culture – with the support of the Mayor’s office.

"Our statues, stood on our branded plinths, will raise the profile of women who deserve to be remembered, women who can inspire the next generation of girls to believe: we can be what we can see," Smosarski said.

"We are living in changing times," she added, saying women felt passionately after the "MeToo" revelations about women being harassed.

"I heard a brilliant description on the radio recently which described the feminism we’re living through not as a wave, but a boiling sea," she added.

Stylist’s owner, Shortlist Media, a subsidiary of DC Thomson, is seeking one or more brands to support the campaign and the size of the investment will affect how many "living statues" take part in the stunt.

Goodstuff Communications, the independent media agency, hosted the showcase at the Curzon Soho in London – the third, annual event where it invites media owners to present exclusive ideas to independent creative agencies.

The other seven presentations were:

The Telegraph and The Times teamed up for the first time to offer free ad slots to ten brands in each title to highlight the issue of diversity as part of a joint day of special editorial coverage.

Channel 4 and The Guardian collaborated for the first time on an initiative, "Make no Miskate", to champion ways of dealing with dyslexia, which will include advertising and editorial such as special on-air continuity announcements and deliberate misspellings.

Global Radio invited brands to "subvert" their own ads and bully listeners in a special ad break, called "Bully", as part of anti-bullying week.

ITV is floating the idea of "Brit Fit" to encourage fitness and awareness of obesity, including a day when all of its ad breaks will be dedicated to "how fitness saves society". It would be a deliberate move to counter a mooted government plan to ban on high fat, salt and sugar ads before 9pm. 

JC Decaux is offering to make use of its estate for eco-friendly initiatives such as bee hives in a campaign called "Operation Bumble Bee".

Hearst is inviting brands to get involved in The Nest, an incubator for start-ups that taps into a network of millennials, dubbed Generation Z.

Spotify will partner with brands to support up-and-coming British artists as part of its "A Million Artists" initiative to help musicians make money out of the platform.


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