Ogilvy Creates Saudi Arabia’s First Major Ad Campaign Condemning Violence Against Women

'Some things can't be covered'

Saudi Arabia, which ranked 131st out of 134 countries for gender parity in a recent report from the World Economic Forum, has unveiled what is believed to be its first major ad campaign condemning violence against women. The first ad, created by Memac Ogilvy in Riyadh for the King Khalid Foundation, shows a woman in a niqab with a black eye. The English version of the copy reads: "Some things can't be covered: Fighting women's abuse together." "The veil does not only hide women's abuse, but it's also a representation of the social veil behind which a lot of societal deficiencies hide," says Fadi Saad, managing director of Memac Ogilvy in Riyadh. "It is one bold first step toward legislation to fight women's abuse in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We believe that the authorities are ready to support such a drive today given the evolution that is taking place in the country." It's another sign that views toward women may be slowly changing in Saudi Arabia. Last summer, Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time. And this January, King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the consultative Shura Council—also a first.