Womens Aid Valentines Day

Women’s Aid, a support organisation in the UK, launched a print, outdoor and radio advertising campaign in 2006 using Valentine’s Day to heighten awareness the plight of women affected by male violence. “Sorry. I told you to shut up you stupid cow. It’s your fault I hit you.”

Womens Aid Rose print advertisement

“For 500,000 British women, Valentine’s is just another day. Women’s Aid is there to help every day of the year. Act now to end domestic violence. Visit womensaid.org.uk”. The newspaper advertisement features a range of poems which on the surface appear romantic, but in fact are abusive.

Womens Aid Valentine's Day print advertisement

The 2007 Valentine’s Day campaign included a print ad showing stitches overlaid with an XXX after the message, “Happy Valentine’s, Love John”.

Womens Aid Valentine's Day print advertisement - Happy Valentine's Love John

Women’s Aid highlighted Valentine’s Day as the focus for the campaign because one of the features of abusive relationships is that they often begin with what may at first be seen by a woman as a flattering display of romantic love, but along with the chocolates and flowers can come the first danger signs of unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness. In many abusive relationships this ‘love’ becomes violent and controlling – a pattern of physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse that often escalates over time.

Each of the two campaigns included two radio spots, turning the romantic theme on its head to reveal a sinister side.

Valentines, Mills & Boon, Valentine 1, Valentine 2


The Womens Aid Valentines Day campaign was developed at Grey London by creative director David Alberts, art director Simon Butler and copywriter Geoff Smith. The campaign won the Socially Responsible Advertising Award at the Euro EFFIES, 2007.

The 2007 campaign was produced by creative directors Geoff Smith and Simon Butler, copywriter Andy Forrest, art director Nicola Hawes, art director Danielle Gaboury, planner Emma Batho, typographer Mark Cakebread and photographer Rankin.