Holland & Barrett launches Me.No.Pause campaign with Pablo

Holland & Barrett wins TfL diversity competition with campaign aiming to break the ‘taboo’ around the menopause

Go to the profile of Gareth Mercer
Feb 05, 2019
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Europe’s largest high street health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett International has today announced a landmark health campaign named Me.No.Pause, winning a competition launched by City Hall and Transport for London (TfL) to increase diversity in advertising.

Supported by Andrea McLean, Me.No.Pause is a campaign aimed to show the reality of the menopause for millions of women across the country in reaction to ‘The Women We See’ research, carried out by University College London, which found that Londoners do not feel represented by advertisements in the capital.  

The campaign, developed & entered as part of a competition by Pablo, was selected from over 80 campaign submissions in the #BehindEveryGreatCity initiative. It was chosen for its commitment to featuring all types of women on a national stage, to surface an issue that has previously been viewed as a taboo among both advertisers and the general public.

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “London’s diversity is our greatest strength, so it is important that we challenge the disparity between the way women are represented in adverts and the women we see around us every day in the capital. This is why I am pleased to be able to announce Holland & Barrett as the winner of the ‘Women We See’ competition. Their Me.No.Pause campaign is a positive and empowering message that shows the brand’s commitment to capturing the diversity of the women in our city. We want today’s campaign launch on TfL’s advertising network to encourage other brands to tackle the way we represent women in advertising, ensuring that women at the heart of London’s success, are given the representation they deserve.”

The campaign, running with the headline “Me.No.Pause” focuses on one of the most difficult aspects women face during the menopause: the loss of femininity, identity and self. The campaign shows women asserting their identity and purpose despite the challenges of menopause, however tough it can be; with Holland & Barrett standing right beside them.

The Holland & Barrett campaign will highlight the reality of menopause of five real lives - Toshi, Cassandra, Bunny, Atifa and Ebony all who are experiencing the menopause in different ways. Holland & Barrett has captured their diverse stories for the campaign, which will be launched today.

 The campaign will explore a variety of menopause experiences, including perimenopause, menopause, as well as handling the menopause prematurely in life, alongside cancer and while managing a disability. It is fronted by Andrea McLean, who experienced early menopause after battling with endometriosis and an emergency hysterectomy. Together, the women are calling for more diverse female stories and lives to be captured in advertising.

 TV presenter, author and entrepreneur Andrea McLean says, “For me, the menopause was, and sometimes still is, a scary time. When I started mine I couldn’t identify with anything the media were telling me about the condition. Making sure a diverse range of women are represented in the media is key – we need to make sure we are breaking down barriers, sharing the struggles women can be dealing with on a daily basis and offering up solutions.”

 One of the lives captured in the campaign, Bunny agrees, “I am hoping that this campaign makes a difference, I can see that there is a lack of diversity in advertising not just with older women but those who don’t identify with either gender. Dealing with menopause has been a real struggle, as it can be for anyone. When I was asked to be involved in the Me.No.Pause campaign, I couldn’t say no. I was proud knowing that someone who feels the same way I do would see our pictures and hopefully feel empowered or more likely to talk about the struggles they are going through with someone and not suffer in silence. More diverse stories, such as those from different races, cultures, abilities and the LGBTQ communities, need to be showcased and it’s great to see”.

Sponsored by TfL media partners, Exterion Media and JCDecaux, for the first time ever, this competition gives brands the opportunity to win £500,000-worth of prominent advertising space across the TfL network – one of the biggest advertising estates in the world, seen by people on the 31 million journeys taken on TfL’s network every day. The advertising campaign will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign that includes PR, social, digital, content and in-store, as well as an online film which will be live on 9th February 2019 and voiced by English actress Sally Phillips.

Holland & Barrett’s Chief Marketing Officer Caroline Hipperson says, “Raising awareness of menopause is something we feel very passionate about at Holland & Barrett. It feels like the ‘last taboo’ topic that people still don’t talk about openly, but it is such a natural part of life and something all women will experience! By partnering with City Hall and TfL we will now be able to convey this message on over 31 million journeys. We hope this campaign will give all these amazing women the confidence to talk about what they are going through and seek advice or tips on how to alleviate any symptoms if needed. We are taking this seriously in store too; we have invested in training for all our store colleagues on the topic so we hope women experiencing the menopause come in and speak to us.” 

As part of the campaign – led by creative agency Pablo, Holland & Barrett can help support women experiencing the menopause with natural alternatives and personalised health advice in store from trained store associates.

Chris Macleod, Customer Director at Transport for London (TfL), said: “It was a privilege to judge all of the fantastic entries into our advertising competition, working with the Mayor and our advertising partners, Exterion Media and JCDecaux. Congratulations to the winner, Holland & Barrett, as well as the runner-up, Mothercare - the competition was tough with a range of impressive entries, with each one considering the importance of gender and diversity. It was heartening to see how brands had embraced the challenge and I hope that this competition will continue to drive widespread change in the industry.”

Dayoung Yun, Creative Director at Pablo, agrees, “We recognise the shortcomings of our industry in truly representing the diverse fabric of society, so we jumped at the opportunity to be involved with this worthy initiative. In particular, on the subject of menopause, we were dismayed to find that the reality of this experience has been diminished or ignored in public dialogue and shocked at the power of insight that women feel their very identities are under threat during menopause. However, when we looked closely at the word ‘menopause’, we saw that by simply adding two full stops ‘Me.No.Pause,’ it instantly reframed its meaning to become an empowering declaration from women. We hope this campaign will spark and inspire a more open conversation about this important subject.”

Read more about the Me.No.Pause campaign here.

Go to the profile of Gareth Mercer

Gareth Mercer

Founding Partner, Pablo

Gareth is the Founder of Pablo. He believes in building brands that walk the walk in order to create real reach and talkability. Brands that connect their heritage and resonate in culture. Gareth has worked both agency and client side, creating campaigns such as NHS Bleed for England, Your Nutella Your Way and helped develop the UK brand purpose for adidas and Vodafone.

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