REDEFINING THE WORD ‘BULLY’

In the run up to Stand Up to Bullying Day (13th June), we have been overwhelmed by the success of our Words Hurt campaign for The Diana Award. The campaign has led to all major dictionary companies agreeing to change the definition of the word ‘bully’.

Original definition: Bully n. a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

New definition: Bully n. a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.

A new campaign video was launched in the run up to Stand Up to Bullying Day to celebrate this change:

James McVey of The Vamps, an ambassador for The Diana Award appeared on BBC Radio 5 as well as Good Morning Britain to talk about the importance of this outcome:

The work also gained coverage on CBBC’s Newsround, The Times and The Evening Standard.

We first launched Words Hurt back in November 2017 during Anti-Bullying Week, after a YouGov poll revealed that 72% of GB children, aged 13-17 yrs, agreed the definition of the word ‘bully’ should be updated.

The Diana Award felt passionately that people who are bullied should not be defined as ‘weak’ and harnessed support of young people and social media to urge dictionary companies to remove ‘weak’ from all their definitions of ‘bully’ and ‘bullying’.

To gain traction on social and with key influencers, WCRS created video content featuring school children talking about their perception of the current definition as well as an exclusive Snapchat filter encouraging others to get involved in raising awareness of the campaign. The campaign also encouraged the public to help change the definition by tweeting #IAMNOTWEAK and tagging in the major dictionary companies.

The social-led campaign received widespread support from celebrities and influencers including Richard Branson, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Scholfield and Stranger Things’ star Millie Bobby Brown.

This lead to Google, Collins, Dictionary.com, Oxford Dictionaries and Cambridge to all change their definition.

The Diana Award’s Stand Up to Bullying Day takes place on 13th June. The day aims to raise awareness around bullying by coming together with schools, organisations and the public via social media.

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award said: “We’re delighted to have worked with WCRS on this important campaign. Our ground-breaking peer-led Anti-Bullying programme has trained over 27,000 young people across the UK and Ireland (and internationally) to act as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. A core part of our work is to educate young people that bully is not strong and being a victim of bullying is not weak. By removing weak from the definition, we can instil confidence in those who have or are still experiencing bullying and help future generations better understand bullying behaviour”.

Full credits:

Client: The Diana Award

Agency: WCRS

Creative Director: Orlando Warner

Creatives: Joe Roberts, Doug Redfern

Production Company: Trailer Park London and Shiny Pictures Limited

Agency Producer, Christine Lewis

Director/Editor: Peter Snell