In a series of conversations with top women beauty leaders, CEW sat down to chat with Madonna Badger, co-founder and CCO, Badger & Winters, to talk about how she lobbied for change at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festivaland won.

“In 2016, our agency declared we would never objectify a woman in any of the ads we created now and in the future. Why? Because of the harm objectification does to everyone, especially children. Objectification is when a woman is treated as a prop; so retouched she looks like plastic or beyond human achievability.

Studies show that the cognitive abilities of women are actually impaired because they are concerned with how they look. It became my passion to have creatives understand the harm we were doing by creating ads that sold bottles of beer in women’s cleavage. I decided to lobby the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and later that year, award entry rules at Cannes changed. It was ruled that any ad that objectifies a person is immediately disqualified. The way this was determined was empathy.

Women being used as props, parts or plastic are no longer seen in ads at Cannes. An entire generation of international creatives have stopped doing that kind of work. It was then that I realized I can make a difference through my work. ‘Those who can – should’ has become my passion.”

Madonna is CEW’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. To learn more about Madonna’s career journey, rise to success and key learnings along the way, make sure to attend this year’s CEW Women’s Leadership Awards virtual event September 9 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.