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EU's Gender Directive Stirs Up YouTube Campaign
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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It only takes a silly government issue for a viral campaign to come to life.

The background: in March 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favor of a Belgian consumer group that was challenging the insuring practices of life and pension providers. The ruling meant that life and pension insurers will no longer be able to price policies in the EU based on gender. The ruling, known as the EU Gender Directive, goes into effect on December 21, 2012. The ruling affects life and pension insurers, as well as car and health insurers, and the rest of the insurance industry in the EU.

Yay equality! Right?

Results are mixed. Insurers are upset about the directive because they believe that they may lose customers, and that the government is trying to tell the industry how to run their businesses (sound familiar?). Consumer groups, too, are upset because the ruling will affect a major part of their audience.

Namely, women.

Confused.com, an insurance and utility price comparison site in the UK, believes that this ruling will cause higher premiums for women, and lower pension payouts for men. On its site it even has tips on how men and women can beat the new EU Gender Directive.

And more. Marketing covered that Confused.com launched a YouTube campaign poking fun at the EU Gender Directive. The videos center around a man who is tired of being treated poorly while driving. So in order to change his luck, he dresses up as a woman, since he believes women are treated better than men when it comes to driving. His idea works so well in the first episode that he continues to press his luck. The first episode is below.

It's funny and it brings to light the perspectives we have when it comes to gender. Of course, for Confused.com to make a real difference, more will have to be done to get the ruling repealed, if it's even possible. But at least it can use advertising as a way to show the EU and their audience that they are not happy about it either.

Oh, the price we pay for equality.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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