top performing campaigns in branding and advertising
Redefining Consent: How the HandsAway Campaign Challenges Societal Norms
Redefining Consent: How the HandsAway Campaign Challenges Societal Norms

Redefining Consent: How the HandsAway Campaign Challenges Societal Norms

In a world where misconceptions about consent continue to pervade societal norms, the HandsAway campaign, created by TBWA\Paris, stands as a bold and necessary initiative to redefine what consent truly means. This campaign, aptly titled “This is Not Consent,” confronts the damaging myth that revealing clothing or nudity implies consent for sexual advances. Through provocative imagery and stark messaging, HandsAway is not just raising awareness but also demanding a shift in how society perceives and respects boundaries.

The Campaign’s Core Message

The HandsAway campaign’s primary objective is to challenge and dismantle the pervasive myth that fragments of nudity or revealing clothing serve as an invitation for sexual harassment or assault. By boldly stating, “This is Not Consent,” the campaign emphasizes that consent must be explicit and cannot be inferred from a person’s attire. This clear and uncompromising message is essential in a culture where victim-blaming often overshadows the critical issue of consent.

Creative Execution by TBWA\Paris

TBWA\Paris, known for its innovative and impactful advertising, has masterfully executed this campaign. The creative team used provocative posters featuring partial nudity to draw attention to the issue. These visuals are paired with strong, unequivocal messages that challenge viewers to rethink their assumptions about consent. The juxtaposition of provocative imagery with the straightforward message underscores the campaign’s intent to disrupt and redefine societal norms.

Raising Awareness and Educating the Public

One of the campaign’s most significant achievements is its ability to educate the public. By placing these thought-provoking posters in public spaces, HandsAway ensures that the message reaches a broad audience. The campaign’s visuals are designed to be both eye-catching and unsettling, prompting viewers to question their own perceptions and understandings of consent.

The Importance of Explicit Consent

At the heart of the HandsAway campaign is the fundamental principle that consent must be explicit. This concept is crucial in combating the insidious culture of victim-blaming that often accompanies cases of sexual harassment and assault. By reinforcing that clothing or appearance cannot and should not be used to justify unwanted advances, the campaign empowers individuals to demand and expect clear, affirmative consent in all interactions.

Impact on Public Perception

The HandsAway campaign has had a significant impact on public perception. By boldly addressing the misconceptions surrounding consent, it has sparked important conversations and increased awareness about the issue. Social media platforms have amplified the campaign’s reach, with many people sharing the posters and engaging in discussions about the true meaning of consent.

Challenging Societal Norms

One of the most powerful aspects of the HandsAway campaign is its ability to challenge deeply ingrained societal norms. For too long, society has perpetuated the idea that a person’s clothing can imply consent. This harmful belief not only contributes to victim-blaming but also perpetuates a culture where boundaries are not respected. By confronting this issue head-on, HandsAway is pushing for a cultural shift towards greater respect and understanding of consent.

Broader Implications for Advertising

The HandsAway campaign also serves as a compelling example of how advertising can be used for social good. In an industry often criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and superficial values, this campaign stands out as a beacon of meaningful change. It demonstrates that advertising can be a powerful tool for raising awareness, educating the public, and driving social progress.


The HandsAway: This is Not Consent campaign is a masterclass in using bold, provocative advertising to challenge societal norms and redefine important concepts like consent. By pairing powerful imagery with a clear, unambiguous message, TBWA\Paris has created a campaign that not only raises awareness but also demands change. As society continues to grapple with issues of consent and respect, initiatives like HandsAway are crucial in driving the conversation forward and promoting a culture of explicit, affirmative consent.

For more information on the HandsAway campaign and how you can support their efforts, visit their website and join the conversation on social media. Together, we can help create a world where consent is always explicit and respected.