Issuu on Google+

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The moment social networking began, a new, revolutionary form of sharing information emerged. According to MobileMarketingMagazine ‘7 in 10 people in the UK now own a smartphone.’ Meaning 7 in 10 people have the ability to easily take a photograph and share that information on a global level in a matter of seconds. The digital take over has forced the vast majority of news groups to display their stories both online and in print form. This has made way for a new way of targeted sharing of information. People can search by keywords and look at global information that relates to things that they are specifically interested in. In this publication, I will describe how both of these aspects are huge contributing factors to the ease of ‘going viral’ in our modern, digital world. I will use a specific case study in which I created a protest targeting the issue of negative body image in women’s magazines.

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What is going viral? Going viral is described as ‘objects or patterns able to replicate themselves or convert other objects into copies of themselves when these objects are exposed to them. This has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population.’ Since the introduction of Youtube, viral videos have become an extremely popular form of viral promotion. Whether it is a video of a cat falling off a chair or a campaign to raise awareness of a certain issue, the power of video sharing has become an extremely effective way of global promotion. Social networking websites play a huge role in sharing via the internet. There are now even people that expect payments just to post other people’s views on their twitter feed/Facebook profiles. The way that information spreads quickly is based purely on people’s engagement. This works exactly the same as a viral campaign offscreen. The person in charge of sharing the campaign would specifically research target audiences and ways in which displaying the information in an appropriately engaging way would help reach people with more ease. An example of this could be an Adshel 6 poster campaign, where a company would pay Adshel to appear

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Viral protests on 6 specifically placed bus shelter posters that they have been told will be viewed by an estimated audience before hand. With out a knowledge of where and who you will be targeting, the success of your campaign is already at a huge disadvantage. A large reason for the rise in viral videos is the increase in owners of mobile phones. Photos, videos and audio can be scattered across the world in a matter of seconds. Mobile phones are also a viewing platform for viral media, strengthening our relationship with screens further. In the last few years, a ‘share’ option on Facebook has emerged. This has made sharing information even easier. The more people share using Facebook, the more users and interest it generates for their website, so it is a very beneficial relationship between those sharing and Facebook.

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Viral protests

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Why is sharing viral information online such an appealing and successful route to take? Between the years 2000-2012 the number of internet users in Europe expanded by 393.4%. (http://www. internetworldstats.com/) This isn’t a figure that is slowing down either. Many people favor viewing information online because of it’s ease and versatility.

So in terms of the content that you are trying to generate on a viral level, it is just common sense. The more niche audience that your content targets, the less chance it has of going viral. A trend that has been quite popular recently is ‘open letters’. People have openly published their views towards a particular company or person in the hope that others will share their views and promote the letter with them. The BBC stated that ‘It’s a tradition that goes back centuries. Katrina Navickas, a historian of the protest movement at the University of Hertfordshire, says ‘It was a common tactic from the late 18th Century onwards, when newspapers were taking off.’ I guess the reason for it’s success in this age is how easy it is to share and add signatures to letters in the digital world. All it takes is a few clicks and you have publicly made your opinion clear in the form of a protest.

The introduction of tablets and e-books was a revolutionary step for viral sharing, it strengthened the time that we engage with digital media that one extra step. We would be spending time browsing for that extra few minutes a day, meaning that we are more likely to engage with information of interest to us. An important point to mention is paid promotion online. This can vary from official promotion like paying to promote a post on Facebook, which tells you an estimate of how many people your post will reach with a particular payment, to the more un official where you will pay a person that has a large following to share your information, like I mentioned earlier. After all, going viral is all about views and engagement, without a huge audience, there is no potential for expansion and sharing.

There are many new ways of going viral, on a serious basis and purely a comical form. It can be both an extremely effective and controversial form of protest.

If you post anything on the internet there will be somebody somewhere that will share the same interest as you.

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in celebrity magazines. Our obsession with celebrities and their lives away from the screens has always been apparent. It’s the idea of wanting to see what happens behind the glitz and glamour of their lives and see if in fact they are normal like us. Magazines like ‘Heat’ and ‘Closer’ claim that they are giving their viewers this information, but they do this in a very dangerous way. Recently there have been protests to remove or cover up ‘lad mags’ like ‘Nuts’ and ‘Zoo’. You could make the argument that magazines that glorify skeletal body image like ‘Closer’ are equally damaging. Anorexia and Bulimia is a growing issue worldwide, the main reason for this is because of how women are displayed across media on a global level. We are presented with idealistic figures that are completely unachievable, unless photoshop is introduced to real life situations. By constant bombardment of skeletal imagery, women are starting to think that they need to look like these unrealistic ideals. More dangerously, young males that are exposed to this type of imagery will expect women to look like this. The media is just extending this vicious circle of unrealistic body image. Wanting to escape into the unknown lifestyles of celebrities is understandable. People like to escape from their lives and look at how the other half live. People like to hear that others are struggling and doing things wrong, it is natural to gain enjoyment

from seeing other people fail in similar situations to you. The issue is how these magazines have introduced a worrying bullying system. Exposing badly taken photographs making people look fat or unattractive in a public name and shame article. The writing in many articles is extremely childish and petty, but most importantly , toxic. It encourages a negative outlook on body image that doesn’t fit in line with the norm that is currently being promoted within media. The rising deaths in the modeling industry is surely an accurate reflection of how badly we need to address this issue of how incorrectly ideal body image is being portrayed. The stories of models eating nothing but toilet paper are horrifying and extremely distressing. With models getting skinnier than ever imaginable and plastic surgery on the rise, the end of this unhealthy ideal is surely close to it’s end. Editor’s seem to be very comfortable with promoting this information, which really is quite a worrying reality.

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Anorexia and womens mags Lisa Burrow’s mission statement states:

will keep her informed on popular culture while making her feel good about her own life and encouraging her to make the most of what she has.”

“All Closer readers have one major thing in common – the focus of their lives is their relationships. Our reader’s partner, friends and family mean the world to her and ultimately she knows that this is where happiness lies. All the money in the world can’t make up for a cheating husband, a sick mother or a depressed friend, which is why she loves to read that celebs have problems too. Our fashion and beauty advice is attainable (while still being aspirational) and she is concerned with her body image - feeling better about her whole life when she feels good about her figure (although she knows she doesn’t need to be a supermodel she takes pride in her appearance). She relies on Closer to bring her an entertainment package that

From this mission statement she openly admits that she has concerns with her own body image, yet she continues to promote this ideal skeletal figure and picks holes in other peoples appearances. This is a perfect example of the vicious circle that dominates body image within media. Isn’t it about time an editor respected their audience enough to tell them that they look okay? Unfortunately this is not an issue that is newly emerging, magazines similar to Closer have been recieving complaints for years about how they display their ideal body image. This is why I think a

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Anorexia and womens mags viral campaign to get people to actually do something about the issue would be the most effective form of protest.

portray the woman on the right as someone who is showing a “tum” and implying that she should lose weight, and also to encourage slimming/dieting when pregnant. It’s also sensationalist and clearly a dangerous thing to pedal to young impressionables. I’m reporting this to you if only on the basis that it flouts the following from your Code Of Conduct:

An open letter was written by Rich Huxley to Closer Magazine and stated: I often find myself aghast at the filth pedalled by red top magazines in the vague guise of journalism and reportage, but this one I couldn’t just let lie, so here’s what I’ve sent to the PCC and here’s hoping that some action is taken.

The letter then continues to state clear violations of the Code of Conduct. It is clear that it is wide topic of concern, but it feels like no progress is actually being made about the issue.

Dear PCC, I hope this finds you well. Spotted the headlines and pictures detailed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ huxhombre/5876720852/ It’s clearly highly irresponsible to a)

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**A campaign by Star Models protesting about the issue of Anorexia and other eating disorders. The campaign went viral and was viewed on a global level.

**This campaign shows Isabelle Caro in her attempt to expose the severity of Anorexia.

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In terms of body image protests that have ran in the past, there have been some extremely powerful pieces of design. The majority have gone for the shock factor, showing ill looking women to really make the severity of anorexia and other eating disorders hit home.

post photos of their progress and ask for encouragement to loose more weight. I struggle to see how this is legal at all and hasn’t been taken down. The website includes ‘success’ stories of people that have lost an extremely dangerous amount of weight in a short period of time.

The series of posters pictured to the left was an excellent campaign ran by Star Models. It played on t he idea that women are almost becoming the illustrative sketches for fashion drawings. The tag-line ‘You are not a sketch’ is relevant and powerful. The images of the women also makes for extremely uncomfortable viewing. The series of images were shared virally on a global level, they did promote the issue in a new and individual way, but still no action was taken as a result of them.

It seems like a loosing battle, for every protest against anorexia and negative body image, there are minority groups that promote it publicly, preying on vulnerable girls that have accustomed themselves to skeletal figures being an accepted norm as a result of excessive exposure to media.

It is worth mentioning an extremely worrying flip side to anti-anorexia protests. There is a website called proana.com that actively encourages eating disorders and motivates individuals to loose weight to a dangerous level. Users are able to

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Another example of a past campaign is pictured on the bottom left of the page where Isabelle Caro, a French woman wanted to show how the disease effects your body, unfortunately soon after the campaign began Isabelle died as a direct result of the disease, which added to the severity of the campaign.


Design & conc ept

What is my protest strategy?

I decided to create a protest in the hope to raise awareness and gain a response from Lisa Burrow the editor of Closer magazine on the issue of Anorexia. My concept was based around targeting this double standard that had frustrated me so much about Lisa Burrow. How she would publish endless pages filled to the brim with negative body image yet i’m sure she would be extremely unhappy if the same kind of imagery and articles were being published about her.

images of Lisa on the internet. I then began to photoshop each image to replace the imagery with Lisa’s face as closely as I could. With the exception of the pregnant woman, I wanted that to look so obviously photoshopped to amplify this fake reality that the magazine is trying to portray. The most difficult part of this design was getting the correct typeface. I eventually found the closest match that I could and had to copy and paste each word on to the design. This was an extremely lengthy process!

I took one particular cover of Closer and found the only two available

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Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

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I added a back cover to the design that put my message across in a very simple 5 worded sentence. ‘Do not but this shit.’ I would then use Guerrilla advertising to put this design over the top of Closer magazines in newsagents/ supermarkets e.t.c.

DO BUY THIS SHIT. #antiana It was important to include a hashtag on the design, otherwise tracking the success or reaction to the campaign would be an extremely difficult if not impossible challenge. I printed 40 A3 copies of this design and made sure that they looked feasible on some pre-bought copies of Closer before I began my campaign.

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In total, I distributed 30 of my mock up covers to a total of 10 shops. All targeting Closer magazine. It was extremely surprising how easy it was to do without arousing any suspicion. You aren’t taking anything, you are putting something on top of the magazine, so presumably, that isn’t something that security are specifically looking for. The first day that I put out the covers around the 10 shops there were absolutely no issues, I placed the covers and left the shop immediately. On the second day, I recorded and photographed the covers being placed over the magazines. Still there weren’t really any issues to report. On the third day I began to hang around the replaced covers to try and catch somebody’s reaction. THIS was the only time that I felt like I had to leave the shops. After I had placed my first cover that day in boots within a matter of seconds a customer came to the aisle and started to look at ‘Closer’. After 30 seconds of reading the cover, she immediately went to the nearest member of staff and pointed them in my direction which forced me to make a sharp exit. I chose to not return to Boots to save any further problems. The next issue I had was in a Tesco store, I had told the security guard that I was doing a study on what magazines people were buying and

had asked if he would mind if I looked at what magazines people were buying. He obliged with a suggestion that I should speak to the manager, I kindly refused and said that I would only be a few minutes. All was going well, with a few people glancing at ‘Closer’ until I saw a member of staff returning somebodies shopping to the shelves. In their shopping was of course, Closer magazine. They immediately saw my cover and took it to the security guard where I heard the employer ask:

‘Have you seen anybody hanging around by the magazines? These f **king things keep coming back.’ The more that people were seeing the Guerrilla protest, the more uncomfortable I felt distributing them. I think for a future protest, I would need to gather a larger number of distributors in order for it to be effective, and target a much larger region. I only targeted shops in the city centre of Bristol. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single tweet using #Antiana as a result of the protest.

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be subtle but be brut al 20


An extremely effective part of this design was that it could sit on the selves and continue to promote it’s message in the background with out screaming out to people. It isn’t until people actually engage with the design until they realise that it is in fact a form of protest. Through research I have definitely been informed that engagement is vital, so in terms of engagement this should be a successful design.

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spam spam spam spam Before I released the campaign I made sure that I had already researched particular people and groups that I would target. This is an extremely vital research point in order to have any chance of success. The moment I released the letter I began to send out the link to all of my friends on social networking sites, asking them to engage with the content and share it as much as they could. Along with tweeting as many people that I thought might agree with the issue, I posted on all of the Facebook groups that I had targeted in my initial research,. To my amazement, the original post received over 5,000 views by the end of the first day. This was completely generated by spamming as many people that I could possibly think of with the link to the letter. By the end of the day I had friends from the other side of the country telling me that their friends had shared the letter. On the second day I created a Facebook page to help keep people updated with the campaign. By 3pm I was contacted by The Huffington Post, they asked if I would like to feature the open letter in blog form

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on their website. This generated a huge amount of interest for the open letter but unfortunately meant that I couldn’t track the views. Now that I had the open letter published on a respected news website, I was much more comfortable sharing the article with people. I soon started to get retweeted on twitter, including an editor of MAMAMIA the news team that released the ‘You are not a sketch’ campaign that I mentioned in my research. Heydon Prowse, director and actor in ‘The Revolution will be Televised’ also retweeted the Huffington post link, which allowed a further 6,000 people to view the article. On the third day, I was contacted by my local paper, The Brecon & Radnor Express. They asked if I would be available for an interview that would be featured in the following weeks paper. By this point the original post had reached over 10,000 views and The Huffington Post Blog had received 60 likes, 15 tweets, 2 google recommendations, 3 e-mails and 15 shares.

Spamming pays off.


The article in The Brecon & Radnor reads as follows: A student from Breconshire is behind an internet campaign attacking a glossy magazine for its portrayal of women’s bodies. Wil Colquhoun, from Taybont-onusk, has written an open letter to the editor of weekly magazine Closer, Lisa Burrow, accusing it of presenting a ‘toxic’ image of the female figure to young women. The Graphic Design student has even produced a mock copy of the magazines’s front page parodying its style and highlighting experienced journalist Ms Burrow’s own physical features. The former Brecon High School student’s open letter was viewed more than 10,000 times in just four days after it was posted on digital sharing platform Scribd. Mr Colquhoun said he believes the critical way Closer highlights perceived physical imperfections on the bodies of female celebrities and use thin models in its pages contributes to women holding negative attitudes about their own bodies and can even lead to some developing eating disorder anorexia. In his letter, which he was also invited to post on the Huffington Post website, the 21-year-old writes: ‘You have created a magazine that solely bases its content around weight loss and a desire for an artificial image. ‘Are your views truly so misguided that you honestly believe the idealistic skeletal figures that you

promote, alongside your school-like bullying system, help to form a new, confident, self praising woman? ‘In no way am I saying that you individually are the sole cause of anorexia, but the image your magazine puts forward is clearly toxic to young women, and clearly part of the problem rather than the solution.’ The UWE Bristol student told The Brecon & Radnor Express he had been moved to start the campaign after undertaking a university project and had since read the magazine over a two month period. ‘It’s something i’m hugely passionate about.’ said Mr Colquhoun who attended sixth form college in Hereford: ‘I had bought a copy of Closer for a uni’ project and read through it and it was just filled with a constant bombardment of skinny, skinny, skinny and from reading that I just got really annoyed and wrote an angry Facebook status that got a really good response from my friends.

‘I then decided to take it that little bit further.’ The campaign took off after Heydon Prowse, a presenter of BBC Three satirical show ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ supported it by tweeting an image of the mock Closer cover - which is intended to mimic its style with bold headlines and cut out photos highlighting Ms Burrow’s ‘wrinkles’ and facial features. The style mimics that adopted by Closer which the student compares to ‘school like bullying’.

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‘mr.colquhoun is also unapolo getic for the personal nature of this campaign.’ 25


‘Heydon Prowse re-tweeting the image helped quite a lot and the main thing was when the Huffington Post got in contact with me.’ added the campaigner: ‘I’ve had a lot of responses from women who say it’s really interesting and welcome to hear a male writing about this.’

points about herself then she shouldn’t do it to other people.’

Mr Colquhoun is also unapologetic for the personal nature of this campaign:

He said he has e-mailed his campaign material to Closer, which during the last sixth months of 2012 had a readership of 1.4 million people, mostly women and teenage girls aged 15 to 34, and also contacted its office, but was told his letter wouldn’t be shown to the editor. Mr Colquhoun also said he believes the magazine should offer a more ‘balanced’ image

‘What i’m doing is to no greater extent than what she does to other people on a daily basis. If she isn’t ready to have her image plastered on a magazine, picking out

‘It would be a bit hypocritical if she said I was being hurtful, the worst that could be said is I’m stooping to her level.’

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of women’s body shapes and support over issues such as anorexia. In a ‘mission statement’ on the website of Closer’s publisher, Bauer Media, Ms Burrow’s is quoted as saying: ‘Our reader’s partner, friends and family mean the world to her and ultimately she knows that this where happiness lies. ‘All the money in the world can’t make up for a cheating husband, a sick mother or a depressed friend, which is why she loves to read that celebs have problems too.’ The statement says the ‘Closer reader’ is ‘concerned with her body

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image’ and feels ‘better’ about her life when she feels ‘good’ about her figure, adding ‘although she knows she doesn’t beed to be a supermodel she takes pride in her appearance.’ A spokeswoman for Bauer told The Brecon & Radnor Express: ‘Bauer Media, publisher of Closer magazine, is a member of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) - the official body that oversees the magazine industry.

‘As a responsible publisher we adhere closely to all PPA guidelines.’


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It is important to mention that I had been keeping Lisa Burrow updated with all major aspects of the protest. I made sure that I got in contact with her each time I had reached a personal milestone or a point of importance. I had began to get a few pieces of feedback from people that had viewed the open letter in a negative light. Because of this I made sure that I stated at the end of every e-mail the following:

‘If at any point you would like me to stop contacting you then just let me know and I will do so immediately.’ There were two reasons for this. Firstly so that she could not say that I was harassing her and secondly because I thought it might help encourage her to reply, even if the reply was simply:

‘No comment!’ I had also e-mailed her the original open letter and cover design. My next stage is to continue to keep her updated and send an A2 version to the office, that was I would know for a fact that she will have seen it.

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I had also e-mailed her the original open letter and cover design. My next stage is to continue to keep her updated and send an A2 version to the office, that was I would know for a fact that she will have seen it. The timing of my protest was a bit unfortunate, from the 22nd onwards, less people were working therefore less likely to pick up a new story. This slowed down my responses from News teams. Christmas os a very hard time to promote your campaign as there aren’t as many news teams to support and promote your articles. The pre-planned article with The Brecon and Radnor Express however was released on Wednesday, 24th December. This generated some very good local feedback but unfortunately that was all. It was time to think of a new strategy to continue the interest in the open letter and more importantly get a response from Lisa Burrow.

I decided to try promoting via Facebook, this was something that I didn’t initially want to do, however I felt that I had exhausted my personal contacts. I thought i’d initially try the promotion at $5 a day for 3 days. I was able to choose my target area, sex, age group and interests in which Facebook would specifically promote the page towards. I chose to target the page to both women and men between the ages of 13-65. In terms of interests I used keywords like body image, feminism, anorexia e.t.c. All to try and generate the best results from my promotion. In those 3 days, the promotion generated 22 new likes, 100 people ‘talking about this’ and reached 1,700 people. I also received a private message to the group thanking me for creating the protest. This was clearly a success when I felt that the sharing had began to fizzle out.

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100 people talking about this 1,700 people reached 22 new likes

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What are the advantages of a viral protest? ∫ You can reach a much larger target audience. ∫ Updating/editing your online presence can be done in a few clicks. ∫ Making your protest global is easy. ∫ Collecting data based on engagement and feedback is simple. ∫ Paying to promote your protest is effective. ∫ You are more likely to have a large following, therefore more likely to get a response. What are the disadvantages of a viral protest? ∫ Less personal. ∫ Can be considered as spam. ∫ You have less control over who shares your protest. ∫ Viral protests can errupt and disappear in a matter of days.

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fe ed ba ck

Feedback is a vital part of any project, it is always a good place to add to the success of your work. I was surprised at how supportive and positively people were responding to my protest. There were of course people that were insulted by my designs and felt that I was creating a personal attack, but a mixed reaction always causes more of a response. I responded to every piece of feedback that I saw, both positive and negative. The most crucial in my opinion was a suggestion to add my cover mock up to The Huffington Post article. People are lazy, if they have to click on a link they are much less likely to engage with the material. By including the image in the article with no need to click elsewhere this is already strengthening the engagement levels. I also received quite a lot of personal feedback, where my open letter had clearly hit individuals on a personal level. For me, this is an extremely vital part of a protest, creating a personal response that individuals can relate to. This was another extremely positive addition of a viral protest. It gave people the chance to either privately or publicly react to the letter. Additionally it was much easier for me to collate these responses and reflect on them in a much more organised way.

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Thanks for this, Ive seen editors of similar publications be interviewed. They shamelessly say that they do what they do because that is what their audience want and this rubbish sells magazines. Millions of magazines. Women buy these magazines so that they can feel equal to celebrities in their struggles to look perfect while needing to aspire to what they can achieve when they put their mind to taking themselves in hand.

The huge amount of sales of these publications might lead you to ask, why are people buying these magazines? What does it mean about our culture or the intelligence and moral compass of the masses out there? These editors arent gods, they are employees given the job of maximising sales so that they can earn money for the larger organisations of which each magazine is just one part. I know because I used to work in magazine publishing. They aren’t employed to be moral. They are employed to make money and no one puts a gun to the head of the buying public. I sympathise with you, surely I do. But where is it going to stop and where do you draw the line? There is a lot of stuff out there which offends MY moral compass. Pornography, sexualised children, marketing chocolate products to children to create brand loyalty for life, violence and swearing on the television and

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aggressive video games which glorify risk and psychopathic behaviour. No one appreciates well spoken english and everything is dumbed down. Stupid people get millions for being stupid. Intelligence is mocked. Pop music is full of references to sex and rape and abuse of women. No- one values being nice any more, just “cool”. People bow to the altar of Kate Moss. The elderly are robbed and beaten for their scant savings. There is something very, very amiss with the society that we live in. Many years ago I spent 10 years living in the middle east with limited exposure to the media and when I returned home to the UK I was startled by how much had changed. Everything around me had become speeded up, de-languaged, hypersexualised. I’m not the least surprised that people have responded to a background of constant stress and threat with eating disorders and variants of self harm. These magazines are just the tip of the iceberg frankly of everything that is wrong about the way we live today. I see these magazines in my hairdresser salon where they are left around for customers to read. Most of the female staff talk about saving up to get “boob jobs”. It really makes me want to weep, the whole stupid thing.. Good luck with your quest - Deanne Jade, Founder


Wow amazing letter. I’m fully behind you, I’m personally interested in eating disorders and body confidence because it’s something that has affected me. The media is fucked up, but we as consumers are just as guilty as they are, and women are each others worst enemy’s!! It’s so nice that men are recognising that it’s an issue. But it is such a tragic shame that the majority of women, including myself (and I’m size 8 feel fat and in a constant battle for perfection. But I think it’s a somewhat viscous circle because our society condemns people who have confidence as arrogant, it’s hardly socially acceptable for a women to say out load ‘I think I have great legs’, people would just call you a vain stuck up arsehole. It is a tricky situation and I don’t think there is an easy answer. And it’s so evident in magazines, in one section they’ll be preaching about body confidence and then a few pages later they’re bitching about someone for gaining a few pounds. GUILTY. Rachel Bufton, Builth Wells.

I don’t like this for multiple reasons...

‘It leaves me deliberating whether your main sponsors are plastic surgeons and gyms?’ How can plastic surgeons and gyms be equated? Gyms can make you strong, healthy and confident. In fact, I found when I finally started lifting weights my confidence has grown along with the amount of weight I can lift. So please, don’t demonize gyms or healthy living. Also, I don’t like the personal attacks on the woman. It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This entire thing is distasteful and not how change is brought on. Ugh. I asked ‘CFJo’ how they thought change should be brought on, they responded with the following:

‘I don’t know, but not by name calling/shaming. It just makes you come across as immature and invalidates any valid arguments you might have.’ CFJo, Reddit user.

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If you are looking to generate a large audience in a short amount of time then a viral protest is definitely the way to go. Especially if your piece involves video sharing. People are lazy and are less likely to engage with a piece of reading unless it already has a large following.

The main thing that shocked me during the early stages of my protest was how quickly it exploded to life. In 2 days it had already generated interest from the media and then 2 days after that it was considered old news. If you can keep an audience engaged with media, you are much more likely to continue an engagement with your protest. If however like my letter you only have a single thing to promote, it is likely that it will be over and done with in a week. It is so important to have a target plan ready to utilise the starting week as efficiently as possible. It may even be worth writing to news teams before releasing the letter, so that they are almost looking for it. Had I not done any spamming with my protest, it would have been a complete failure, I could only guess that it would have reached approximately 300 people. Spamming and sharing is key, people will not engage with content unless it already has a following or unless they have a genuine interest in the title.

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If I was to restart this protest, I definitely would have given produced a motion piece to accompany the open letter. Viral videos are a much more effective way of communication, purely because of laziness. People are much more likely to press play and sit back for 3 minutes rather than spend their time reading. Paying to promote your page is not cheating. I felt like it was at the beginning of the protest, but it is purely getting your point across to people that will actually have a genuine interest in it. You are merely suggesting that they support your views. Another route I will explore in the very near future is personally delivering an A2 version of my cover suggestion to Closer HQ. I would record this and post it to the Facebook page to further increase the public reaction. Along with this I will continue to update Lisa on the protest in the hope that I will eventually get a response.


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The main thing that shocked me during the early stages of my protest was how quickly it exploded to life. In 2 days it had already generated interest from the media and then 2 days after that it was considered old news. If you can keep an audience engaged with media, you are much more likely to continue an engagement with your protest. If however like my letter you only have a single thing to promote, it is likely that it will be over and done with in a week. It is so important to have a target plan ready to utilise the starting week as efficiently as possible. It may even be worth writing to news teams before releasing the letter, so that they are almost looking for it. Had I not done any spamming with my protest, it would have been a complete failure, I could only guess that it would have reached approximately 300 people. Spamming and sharing is key, people will not engage with content unless it already has a following or unless they have a genuine interest in the title.

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How to go viral colour