BBDO NY, Want to ‘Ban Bossy’ for Young Girls

By Erik Oster 

Coming on the heels of International Women’s Day, BBDO New York has launched a new educational campaign for and Girl Scouts of America encouraging achievement and leadership in girls.

The new campaign, entitled “Ban Bossy”offers “educational resources to help girls and women take the lead and give parents, teachers, troop leaders and managers hands-on strategies for supporting female leadership.” In addition to educational materials, the campaign includes celebrity endorsements, a new website, and the above 45 second PSA, “Change the Story.”


The thought-provoking PSA begins with girls listing all the things they won’t do, like “designing a building that reshapes the skyline” and “ask the questions that change the whole conversation.” This leads seamlessly into what stops these girls from accomplishing those things: “Here’s where I start to doubt myself,” one girl says. Finally, this leads into the name calling that causes the girls to stop asserting themselves, names like “stubborn,” “pushy,” “know-it-all” and, as you might expect, “bossy.” Ending on a positive note, a girl says “Here’s where I will change it all,” followed by the message: “Ban Bossy. Encourage girls to lead. Take the pledge at The important message here is delivered in a way that works backwards from consequences to actions. It’s a great way to show all that is lost when we tell girls not to assert themselves, implicitly or explicitly.

“We need to recognize the many ways we systematically discourage leadership in girls from a young age—and instead, we need to encourage them,” explains Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org.

“Girls are twice as likely as boys to avoid leadership roles for fear of being disliked or deemed ‘bossy’ by their peers,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez adds.

Since launching, many organizations and individuals have pledged support for Ban Bossy, including Teach for America, Common Sense Media, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Edmodo, KIPP, AARP, Free The Children, Kids in the House, UrbanSitter, Babble, BlogHer, Upworthy, BBYO, Pantene and Always. Lifetime has also partnered with the initiative to create a PSA entitled “I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss,” featuring celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmie Johnson, and Jane Lynch. Stick around for that PSA, along with credits, after the jump. And don’t forget to head over the the Ban Bossy site to make your own personal pledge to ban it yourself.

Agency: BBDO New York

Client: LeanIn.Org

Title: “Change the Story”


Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn

SVP, Senior Creative Director: Juliana Cobb

Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Anne Lac

Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Pamela Kim


Managing Director: Kirsten Flanik

SVP, Senior Account Director: Kathryn Brown

Account Manager: Anna Mills


Group Executive Producer: Amy Wertheimer

Executive Producer: Tricia Lentini

Associate Producer: Georgie Turner

Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz


Production Company: Furlined

Director: Douglas Avery

President: Diane Mcarter

Senior Executive Producer: David Thorne

Executive Producer: Meghan Lang

Line Producer: Greg Haggart


Edit House: Crew Cuts

Editor: Sherri Margulies

Assistant Editor: Danielle Sclafani

Executive Producer: Michelle Belaff


Music House: Beacon Street


Telecine: Company 3

Colorist: Tim Masick


Audio Mix: Crew Cuts

Mixer: Julienne Guffain


Post/VFX: Crew Cuts