Don’t ignore it

Don’t Ignore It

This hard-hitting campaign exposed the way in which society hides, excuses and ignores domestic violence.


Dinner party scene


There were three initial phases to the campaign:

  • September 2003: a cinema advert depicted a woman experiencing extreme abuse whilst dining in a restaurant with her partner and a group of friends. The friends remain oblivious as the violence escalates. To see the advert click on the link below
  • January – March 2004: a national poster campaign depicting domestic violence taking place in public places, each time with the friends of the victim remaining oblivious
  • August 2004: a third poster phase launched in locations on the London Underground

Download response Don’t Ignore It campaign cinema advert

  1. Wedding poster
  2. BBQ poster
  3. Dinner party poster

The central message

More than one in three (42 per cent)* people say they have witnessed a person being verbally or physically abused by their partner in a social situation.

Domestic violence is unacceptable. It affects everyone – and everyone has a part to play in ending it.

Sandra Horley, Refuge chief executive, said: “Domestic violence continues to kill two women a week in England and Wales. The ‘Don’t Ignore It’ campaign has really raised awareness of the fact that domestic violence is a crime that must not be ignored. The two previous campaign phases, the national cinema and national poster campaign, saw a rise of 49% of calls to the helpline and twice as many hits to the website. But we need to keep reinforcing the message and the London Underground is the ideal medium to urge people to acknowledge the issue and seek help – it might just save a life.”

Stephen Whyte, chief executive of McCann Erickson, said: “One of the key challenges in relation to domestic violence is overcoming the perspective that ‘domestic’ means ‘private’. This campaign seeks to demonstrate just how absurd that way of thinking is and to encourage people to take action if they suspect someone is a victim of this crime.”

McCann Erickson London created the adverts as part of their ‘1000 voices, 100 years’ social responsibility campaign, an initiative which marked the centenary year of McCanns by developing pro-bono advertising for important and under-represented issues.

* The Body Shop September 2003


Refuge would like to give particular thanks to Tamara Ingram, former chief executive of McCann Erickson, for her continued support of Refuge.