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Sexual assault or just “the business”?


This is about a close friend of mine. She is in client services and was a victim of lust of the branch head on a trip. She escaped by the skin of her teeth. She is, obviously, in a state of shock. The “wise” old birds are telling her : “take it or leave it, this is advertising, baby!” and horror of horrors, she is ready to believe them. I am screaming myself hoarse to convince her otherwise. But what do I know? I have been in this industry for only a year. As Ladies and leading ladies in advertising industry, please tell me what to do.

intro Sexual assault or just the business?“This” isn’t advertising, it’s life in the wrong company, maybe. We’re glad to hear she escaped the immediate situation and can only advise any working woman not to stay in a situation where sexual assault is seen as “just the business”. Our industry, like most others, has its incidents of sexism and every other -ism. We’ve always gravitated to companies that appreciate women and champion them. No job is worth being subjected to abuse of any kind.

If the “wise old birds” are not part of your friend’s company management, they may be giving the very false picture that her employer wouldn’t do anything about what happened. She should by all means approach her boss about the situation, and expect action—at least in the form of taking her off that piece of business. If that support isn’t given, then we’d be looking for another job.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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