To start a national debate about the omnipresent sexism and the lack of gender and sexual education in Poland, we had to create a symbol that could potentially change mindsets of Poles. To create a killer pitch that gets not only the media's attention, we bought the oldest, iconic Polish porn magazine “Your Weekend” to close it. But first, we published its very last issue in history. Instead of the usual porn content, it focused on issues of sexism, misogyny, gender portrayal and equality. Poland is a country where women earn 18,5% less than men, we do not have effective system solutions preventing discrimination, kids at school do not get equality education, everyday sexism in public space is still socially acceptable. We are a conservative society which objectifies and marginalizes women. Even for the westernized liberal Polish middle class gender inequality is an abstract problem.
Our client, Gazeta.pl, is a liberal news portal. It is brand which builds its credibility by social engagement - it is a portal which starts mass discussions about significant social topics. The role of engaged liberal media in time of far-right, anti-women government should be bold and brave. We had to start a serious mass discussion about sexism and gender inequalities. BNP Paribas and Mastercard, which have a long-term commitment of empowering women, were ideal partners to scale and amplify the idea. For 27 years, “Your Weekend” – one of Poland longest running and most read adult magazine - reduced women to sex objects. In December 2018, when it was up for sale, we bought it immediately.
And used it to challenge the culture of sexism and gender inequality it had contributed to building. We transformed “Your Weekend” in a conversation-sparking, ground-breaking magazine promoting diverse and progressive narratives of femininity. We teamed up Gazeta.pl, our client and leading Polish news portal, with Mastercard and BNP Paribas, two brands with a long-term commitment to empower women, to create this last issue. We published it on International Women’s Day. We kept the regular sections and columns but reimagined the content around sexual education, gender portrayal, equal rights, sexism and more. It was the symbolic end of an era and a spectacular beginning for a much-needed national conversation.
The main assumption was to make the topic mainstream. That is why we have decided to target the campaign to the average middle class in Poland - people brought up on the magazine’s biased portrayal of women. People we wanted to engage were not rejecting the topic, but thought that it is the issue which doesn’t affect them. We didn’t want to judge anyone or to instruct. The thing was to show the perspective of women. And by that to make people realize that we all live in a society which is not equal. The campaign consisted of two essential parts: the last printed issue of “Twój Weekend” magazine and internet campaign in our clients portal around the topic. A teaser campaign a week before the launch created excitement about the magazine’s last issue. Nationwide offline and online sales were launched on International Women’s Day. Gazeta.pl sold “The Last Ever Issue” through their publisher’s distribution networks such as Empik (a chain of 200+ bookstores), Relay/Inmedio/1 Minute (chain of 1000+ newsagents / convenience stores), publio.pl and kulturalnysklep.pl (online platforms owned by the publisher). Sales were supported by an integrated campaign including OOH, cinemas, radio, social media and PR. 100+ copies of the magazine were sent out to journalists and influencers which ignited a fierce social media debate. Both Mastercard and BNP Paribas amplified the campaign in their social media channels. A content section was created at gazeta.pl. It publishes content related to sexism, equality and gender portrayal. This content is redistributed through the media channels of what used to be an objectifying adult magazine.