Weber Shandwick launches #BrutalCut campaign for ActionAid

Weber Shandwick and outdoor media partner Clear Channel have launched a campaign with ActionAid UK called #BrutalCut to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM).

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ActionAid’s #BrutalCut campaign aims to alert people to the short and long term dangers of female genital mutilation and raise funds to provide safe centres for girls fleeing FGM in Kenya.

The #BrutalCut campaign, which officially launched yesterday (28 July), is a fully integrated digital campaign spanning traditional and social media channels.

Short messages from Kenyan girls facing the threat of FGM are being brutally ‘cut’ into content at scale, including celebrities and vlogger’s YouTube and Instagram videos, photos, cinema trailers and digital publisher content, as well as digital Out of Home screens up and down the UK.

Support for the campaign has also been provided by publishers including The LAD Bible group, which have ‘cut’ their content across the Lad Bible and Pretty52 social media channels, reaching several million fans.

Alesha Dixon, Katherine Kelly, and Joanne Froggatt, along with other well-known UK actors, comedians, performers and YouTube stars, also interrupted their own videos with messages from Kenya. The campaign was also showcased at The Latitude festival in July.

The messages drive to the website where anyone can add a #brutalcut to their video or photo and share on social media.

Janet Convery, director of public engagement at ActionAid, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Weber Shandwick to end female genital mutilation in remote regions of Kenya. The so-called cutting season starts next week. We aim to reach people who may never have considered the issue before using highly disruptive #BrutalCut videos. One girl cut is one too many. We all have a role to play by supporting front line women’s networks who provide safety for girls fleeing FGM, and are starting to stamp out the practice for good.”

James Nester, executive creative director at Weber Shandwick, added: “This is an issue most people don’t want to confront. So we needed a brutally disruptive idea. An idea bold enough to break free of its channel to become news and social currency.”

Out of Home media owner Clear Channel has supported the campaign by hosting the first ever synchronised disruption of digital outdoor across their national network of outdoor media sites. #BrutalCut features on hundreds of digital screens across the UK, including One Piccadilly.

To find out more, or add a #BrutalCut to your photo or video, visit

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