UN Women Autocomplete Truth

Memac Ogilvy has produced a campaign for UN Women using Google’s autocomplete search facility to remind us that gender equality is still a worldwide problem. “Women cannot…” “Women shouldn’t…” “Women should…” “Women need to…” Each phrase has its list of offensive autocomplete suggestions, accompanied by a strong affirmation of women’s rights for equality. Based on searches dated 9 March, 2013, the ads expose negative sentiments ranging from stereotyping as well as outright denial of women’s rights. See the campaign on the UN Women site, UN Women Say To Violence site and Facebook page. Published on Behance in May, the campaign has gone viral over the last week.

Women Cannot

[November 20 – UN Women has updated the campaign with an online video. “The 21st century has been hailed as the century of women. Yet a recent Google search shows just how much prejudice and discrimination towards women and gender equality persist. The Autocomplete Truth builds on the international viral success of the print/web “Autocomplete Truth” advertising campaign from UN Women, developed by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai that first revealed the depth of that discrimination. The video argues that at this point in history, popular perception should be different and women should be seen as equal. The Google search depicted in The Autocomplete Truth was conducted on 9 March 2013. We urge you to go ahead and try it — what does your search show about gender stereotypes and the lack of equality for women’s rights?”]

Featured in the video are the National Woman Suffrage movement in the USA (1869), the 1893 Electoral Act giving women in New Zealand the right to vote, the transAtlantic flight of Amelia Earhart in 1932, the recruitment of women to the workforce in wartime Britain (1940), Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space in 1963, Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister of India in 1966, and Saudi Arabia athlete Sarah Attar in the 2012 London Olympics.

Women Shouldn't

Women Should

Women Need To

“When we came across these searches, we were shocked by how negative they were and decided we had to do something with them,” says Christopher Hunt, Art Director of the creative team at Memac Ogilvy. The idea developed places the text of the Google searches over the mouths of women portraits, as if to silence their voices.

“The ads are shocking because they show just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality. They are a wake up call, and we hope that the message will travel far,” adds Kareem Shuhaibar, copy writer.

For UN Women, the searches confirm the urgent need to continue making the case for women’s rights, empowerment and equality, a cause the organization is pursuing around the world. UN Women is heartened by the initial strong reaction to the ads and hopes they will spark constructive dialogue globally. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag: #womenshould


The AutoComplete campaign was developed at Memac Ogilvy, Dubai, by creative director Ramzi Moutran, associate creative director Sascha Kuntze, art directors Christopher Hunt, Sabia Fatayri and Leo Rosa Borges, copywriter Kareem Shuhaibar, and retoucher Ricardo Moreira.