Many Canadians are unclear about the nation’s prostitution laws. The Act protecting prostituted and sexually-exploited women and girls was being questioned—and a federal election loomed.
What was the best way to educate the public about the realities of sexual exploitation in Canada and encourage people to take action?
ad impressions delivered
unique individuals reached
ad clicks through engagement campaign
per ad click (low cost per acquisition)
The Pan-Canadian Abolitionist Feminist Advocates (PAFA) was formed in 2021 to address a serious issue in Canada: stopping the objectification, exploitation, and dehumanization of prostituted and sexually-exploited women and girls. PAFA seeks to implement the full Equality Model into Canadian legislation and uphold the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA). PAFA includes women’s advocacy groups from Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Many people misunderstand Canada’s PCEPA act, which outlines the nation’s prostitution legislation. They mistakenly think that people who are prostituted have more choice in their circumstances than they actually do.
Canadian prostitution legislation mirrors the Equality Model. Sex traffickers, pimps, and people who purchase sex are prosecuted. But individuals selling sex are given immunity from criminal prosecution. This approach to prostitution reduces demand for paid sex, protecting women and girls.
But these laws were being challenged in court by an opposing lobbyist group and being reviewed by the federal government. With an upcoming election, PAFA needed to act quickly to raise public awareness about its cause.
For several years, tbk had been working with London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC) on digital advocacy campaigns. So, when the LAWC associate executive director began her work with PAFA, tbk was top of mind.
To assist PAFA in eradicating prostitution and sexual exploitation in Canada, tbk donated 30 hours of pro bono ad concept development and strategic consulting. It was so well received that PAFA pulled together funding for a national advertising campaign.
tbk began by creating an educational social media campaign and website for PAFA. Our team researched relevant statistics and paired them with powerful design to tell an emotive story—in both official languages (English and French). The social campaign was unified by a powerful hashtag that immediately summarized PAFA’s thoughts on prostitution: #NotaChoice. Bilingual social ads ran on Facebook and Instagram across Canada, achieving momentum from coast to coast.
As Canadians became more educated about prostitution, tbk’s awareness campaign evolved to be more action oriented. tbk created a dedicated landing page on the PAFA website aimed at increasing conversions and starting a movement. We updated our ads with strong calls to action to be part of that revolution.
tbk retargeted the social ads to a narrower audience: people who had visited the PAFA website; those who had visited PAFA’s Facebook page; those who had followed the Facebook page; and those who had liked, commented, or shared our awareness posts. This allowed PAFA to share their message and garner public support from a more fiercely engaged audience.
tbk is proud to support PAFA in its pursuit of upholding Canadian prostitution laws and protecting women and girls.
The agency worked hard to ensure the website, landing page, and two-tiered social advocacy campaign were rolled out quickly—within just two weeks! tbk achieved the goal of launching the campaign in advance of the federal election, influencing public opinion and political understanding about the realities of sexual exploitation at a strategic time.
The social advocacy campaign had 9,373,773 ad impressions and it reached 2,426,937 unique individuals across Canada. By layering an instant experience within Facebook, click-through-rates soared, rising from 0.37% to 5.96%. Over 5,000 people clicked on the ad—and at only 12¢ per click (a very low cost per acquisition), tbk was able to help PAFA make the best use of its budget.
tbk’s generosity and skills made this project so exciting. The social advocacy campaign was spot on, and it conveyed exactly the right information. tbk demonstrated passion and support of PAFA’s cause. Our entire team was left in awe.