Clementine Ford & The Royals respond to ‘milkshake’ consent failure

Australian author and commentator Clementine Ford, in conjunction with independent agency The Royals have released a response to the Australian Government’s now infamous ‘milkshake’ video series, entitled “Consent is a Conversation.”

Released directly onto Ford’s Instagram and Facebook accounts this morning, the video seeks to cut through the messaging the ‘milkshake’ series provided last week, which subsequently left its target audience more confused than beforehand.

Ford said: “We don’t need metaphors or complicated analogies to explain consent. In fact, the easiest way to understand consent is to talk about it. It’s a dialogue between sexual partners that prioritises respect and wellbeing, and this shouldn’t be hard for people to understand. Consent is an ongoing conversation, and we hope that by doing this we encourage people to start having that conversation.”




The ‘milkshake’ consent video, uploaded to the online educational tool The Good Society, funded by the Department of Educational Skills and Employment was removed just days after it appeared on Monday last week.

The short film refers to the government-funded content on The Good Society, and is also filmed in a diner, with milkshakes on hand. The aim of the video is to provide a more accurate educational tool for informing the intended target audience on consent.

Mads Catanese, copywriter at The Royals, added: “Sexual consent is a conversation, and for too long, it’s a conversation that we haven’t been having. Now that the topic of consent has the microphone, we must create messages that are concise and clear.”

The video aims to avoid using ‘milky metaphors’, using plain speech to provide clear instruction on a vital issue, Ford stating “CONSENT IS NOT A MILKSHAKE! THERE ARE NO SHIFTING LINES!” It has received considerable coverage so far, with over 2,700 likes on her Facebook account within an hour of posting.

The Good Society’s ‘Milkshake’ series

As reported in Mumbrella last week, the video in particular which garnered the majority of attention, entitled ‘Moving the Line’ used a milkshake being smeared across a boy’s face without his permission as a euphemism for consent. According to data from Streem, the campaign has been the subject of more than 1,800 media items from Monday morning to 4pm Tuesday, nearly all of them negative.

The video was a tight turnaround, shot and released within three days of the idea’s inception.

Ford acknowledges on her social media post “we don’t think you can provide a definitive guide to consent in two and a half minutes”.



Executive Creative Director: Stu Turner, The Royals

Creatives: Clementine Ford, Mads Catanese, Izzi McGrath

Producer: Aaron Rocca

Cinematographers: Joel Egan, Tavis Pinnington

Sound Operator: Tim Smith 


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