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Nurofen and IPG take aim at the gender pain gap

The new purpose-led brand platform ‘See My Pain’ is rooted in action to close the gender pain gap

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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Women and their pain have been invisible in the system for too long. 1 in 6 women experience severe pain everyday.  Over half (56%) of women say they felt their pain was ignored or dismissed. Women’s pain is consistently overlooked in healthcare, underrepresented in research and dismissed due to ingrained gender biases.

In fact so ingrained is the bias towards women’s pain, that in many ways it remains almost entirely wordless. This is the toxic status quo which sits at the heart of Nurofen’s new purpose driven brand platform ‘See My Pain’. An integrated, open-architecture IPG team of McCann London, McCann Health London (an IPG Health company) and Golin are behind the ambitious drive to unify the brand behind a progressive, impactful purpose. 

In keeping with Reckitt’s purpose-driven approach to marketing; which extends well beyond tick-boxing exercises, which extends well beyond the traditional wafer thin ‘awareness’ driving campaigns, ‘See My Pain’ is a long-term commitment. One which pledges to ensure that all pain is seen, regardless of gender.  

Nuria Antoja, Marketing Director at Nurofen; Reckitt, explained:  “The launch of the See My Pain campaign today is a bold strategic choice from Nurofen to commit to helping make a difference in women’s lives, rooted in the painful insight that there is, sadly, a gender pain gap.”

She continued: “Nurofen's See My Pain campaign, the Gender Pain Gap Index and Nurofen’s commitments to support closing the gap are just the start of Nurofen's quest to improve conversations about women's health. We want to use the brand’s power and recognition to continue pushing for impactful changes, and we welcome other organisations to join us.”

From Awareness to Action

At the heart of the campaign is a set of tangible commitments. Nurofen is committed to making women more visible in clinical research. Nurofen has pledged to always consider gender when interpreting its findings, and will publish results to improve pain management and research. While the Nurofen Gender Pain Gap Index Report  will be ongoing to track progress of closing the gap over time.  

The report  reveals the true extent of the gender pain bias that women experience every day, where women are not taken seriously or deemed ‘emotional’ when it comes to their pain. The campaign rolls out across earned, owned and paid media. Activity includes  a Metro cover wrap, Times and Telegraph single pages, alongside a digital outdoor campaign. 

The team has recognised that society’s current approach to women’s pain needs addressing. The team believes the existence of the gender pain gap is due to several factors: from the historical lack of medical research into women’s specific pains, the lack of mandatory training for healthcare professionals on women-specific conditions, all driven by underlying gender biases in society..

The Index today highlights that nearly half (48%) of all adults surveyed believe there is a ‘gap’ in the identification and treatment of pain between genders Amongst those who felt their pain was ignored or dismissed, nearly one in four women versus one in six men said, generally, no one took their pain seriously.

Nurofen's See My Pain campaign, the Gender Pain Gap Index and Nurofen’s commitments to support closing the gap are just the start of Nurofen's quest to improve conversations about women's health. We want to use the brand’s power and recognition to continue pushing for impactful changes, and we welcome other organisations to join us.

Nuria Antoja, Marketing Director at Nurofen; Reckitt

A long term commitment

Underpinning the social impact platform, Nurofen has made the bold strategic choice to commit to making a difference in closing the Gender Pain Gap. Nurofen’s commitments to take women’s pain seriously include: developing a variety of new tools that will assist both women and men in their description and articulation of their pains to healthcare professionals. .

By raising awareness of this Gender Pain Gap and amplifying women’s voices, Nurofen and IPG hope to improve the quality of pain conversations taking place in society. The purpose-driven platform will take steps to address and make progress against addressing gender biases and, ultimately, help to close the Gender Pain Gap.

Ruth Boulter, Creative Director at McCann London said the work was a ‘first step in a journey to improve the lives of women by making their pain more visible in society.’ She explained:  “The commitments they have signed up to, and the women we have already worked with, feels like we are at the beginning of something very big”.

Victoria Brophy, EVP, Golin added:  “This social impact campaign is a multi-year, long-term commitment from a leading pain management brand to drive change for gender bias in pain and healthcare conversations.”

To read more about the Gender Pain Gap click here.

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