Changemakers: Madonna Badger explains why the ad industry needs to stop objectifying women


Madonna Badger, founder and creative director of New York advertising agency Badger & Winters, is a pioneer in her industry.

She is the creative force behind the #womennotobjects digital campaign, a movement that seeks to reverse the objectification of women in advertising campaigns.

Badger says his agency’s work is changing the industry and influencing awards and global events, such as Cannes Lions.

She grew frustrated, she told Euronews Next, with the way women were continually portrayed in campaigns selling everything from hot dogs to perfume.

“Making people skinny, making people whiter — making women skinny or making women whiter — has a really horrific detrimental effect on women and girls,” Badger said.

“And so we made this movie Women, Not Objects. And that, you know, which went viral overnight.”

So how do you know if an ad is objectification or just provocative art?

“When you see an ad, and you’re a guy and you say, ‘How would I feel if it was my daughter or my mom or my sister?'” Badger explained.

Euronews Next spoke with Badger about her vision for girls and women, the future of leadership and the kind of legacy she wants to leave behind.

  • For more on this story, watch the edited video in the media player above or visit Cannes Lions live to watch the full episode.

The Changemakers series in partnership with Cannes Lions Live and Euronews Next is a series of one-on-one interviews with female leaders who are rethinking their roles and creating a better future for their industry.


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