A graphic poster is calling attention to the issue of increased incidents of domestic violence during the FIFA World Cup.
Every four years, FIFA World Cup puts an international spotlight on world football. For advertising firm J. Walter Thompson London and its client National Centre for Domestic Violence, this presented an opportunity to shed some light on a particularly nasty side-effect of fervent sports fandom: domestic violence.
Ahead of this year’s World Cup, studies showing a correlation between violence and football were widely shared - revealing that domestic abuse increases when England wins or loses a match.
The largest of the studies, conducted by Lancaster University in 2013, found that abuse increased by 26 per cent when England played and 38 per cent when they lost.
According to findings, millions of people watch these games, drink alcohol, get excited and jubilant. But the fanfare turns to infuriated violence when the team loses and angry fans are often known to 'take the anger out' on their partners.
In addition to the Lancaster study, which analysed data from the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups, previous studies have been conducted by the National Centre for Domestic Violence, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the BBC on the existing link between football and domestic violence.
In response, JWT created a poster depicting a woman with blood pouring out of her nose in the shape of the St George’s flag.
Titled “If England gets beaten, so will she,” the campaign aims to combat the statistics of violence. The poster was part of a campaign consisting of a series of similar images which render in blood the flags of England, Switzerland and Japan – on the faces of women.
JWT's Creative Director, Jo Wallace, commented, “As fans across the world watch each game with trepidation so too do the partners of some of those fans. This lesser known, darker aspect of football is clearly communicated with this impactful campaign, The Not-So-Beautiful Game. The team saw these stats and immediately created this excellent work to help reach and support victims of Domestic Violence during the World Cup when they are in particular danger.”
The imagery will be used across digital, print and out-of-home, with Ocean Outdoor supporting on the latter. The campaign is set run on TV throughout all of England, Switzerland and Japan on match days until the end of the World Cup.