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Positive Provocation

Online abuse is a dark and distressing issue which has horrifying consequences. Our challenge to Nationwide was to drag online hate from the shadows of the online world and into UK living rooms for all to see.


Nationwide champion diversity in their advertising through their award-winning Voices campaign. However, unfortunately the more Nationwide featured real people from diverse backgrounds in their ads, the more these people received hateful and personal abuse online.

Merely moderating the abusive comments didn’t feel enough, or the right thing to do. Nationwide wanted to act and invoke change. They teamed up with ISBA to develop a set of guidelines for brands experiencing online abuse towards the people in their advertising. They then challenged us to create a public campaign to highlight the severity and scale of online abuse in the UK.


We joined forces with other likeminded brands who shared Nationwide’s values to create an incredibly impactful multi-channel campaign.

Prime-time TV is unrivalled in its ability to deliver a huge impact. Channel 4’s punchy and provocative attitude matched ours and coupled with their long-standing commitment to diversity, we knew they were our perfect headline partner-in-crime.

We galvanized a group of likeminded brands, Maltesers and McCain, who were experiencing the same abuse towards the real people in their advertising to form a coalition. We knew we needed to stand strong and unified together against the proliferation of online hate for the whole nation to see.
#TogetherAgainstHate was born.


One unified message against online abuse called for something big. We created an ad-break take-over, with each TVC treated with a powerful overlay designed to visually demonstrate the abuse the real individuals had received. We ran the ad-break takeover in Gogglebox, a programme which itself represents and celebrates diversity across the UK, and showcased the disturbing abuse targeted at the real people in Nationwide, McCain and Maltesers’ advertising.

Charity Cybersmile offered shocking statistics to accompany the ad-break highlighting the scale of online abuse in the UK and throughout viewers were able to continue the debate online using “#TogetherAgainstHate”.

Simultaneously to the ad-break we also launched 50 pieces of content from microinfluencers talking about their own experiences and commissioned a special report week about online hate with Global’s LBC.


#TogetherAgainstHate shone a spotlight on online hate straight into the nations living rooms.

For a budget of less than £350,000, we reached 42% of all UK adults and sparked an outpouring of support as people were shocked and emotionally impacted by what they saw.

Awards & Recognition
Marketing Week Awards

Campaign of the Year 2018

Of all UK adults reached
Impactful campaign in C4 research history
Ratings for 
Trust and Care 
in brand health

Growth Stories