Latest version of Department of Social Services’ ‘Stop It At The Start’ campaign launches

The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS) has launched the fifth instalment of its domestic violence prevention campaign, teaching adults the hidden trends of disrespect in young people, via BMF.

Initially launched in 2016, ‘Stop It At The Start’ is a long-term, multi-phase campaign aimed at influencers of young people to address the seed of violence – disrespectful behaviour – and stop it for the next generation, before it begins.

‘Stop It At The Start – The Hidden Trends of Disrespect’ aims to remind adults what the online and offline worlds tell young people, and teach them how to help young people navigate it.

The DSS has launched an interactive, educational tool as part of the campaign – the ‘Algorithm of Disrespect’ – simulating the average young Australian’s online experiences and interactions. It shows examples of the content and conversations online, revealing the hidden trends of disrespect.

The TVC, which follows the journey of one young person trying to navigate the online world alone, directs people to the online tool, which can help educate on how quickly and easily content and conversations can turn disrespectful.

“While domestic violence requires holistic, systemic change, both immediate intervention through policy and law changes and through upstream prevention, every phase of ‘Stop it at the Start’ has been a step toward driving long term change,” said Jessica Sutanto, planning director at BMF.

“From getting people to recognise how the seeds of disrespect can grow into violence, to highlighting our role in perpetuating that, to encouraging intervention in an instance of disrespect, to moving to prevention by showing the benefits of having conversations about respect, phase five is now about showing parents and influencers of children how to uncover hidden conversations about disrespect before they cause harm.”

Associate creative director and innovation lead at the agency, Kiah Nicholas, added: “Social algorithms, designed to prioritise polarising content, can automatically serve disrespectful content to young Australians, every day.

“Which, over the course of their teenage years, may influence their views and behaviour. While adults can’t censor this content, it is their responsibility to better understand it, so they can help our kids navigate disrespect before it leads to violence.”

The latest phase of the campaign is rolling out across TV, cinema, online, social and digital channels.


Client: Department of Social Services
Branch manager, campaigns and strategic communication: Mardi Stewart
Director, campaigns: Kristy Breugelmans
Co-campaign manager: Eleni Carrejo
Co-campaign manager: Sarah Beckfaunt
Campaign officer: Liam Walford
Campaign officer: Parissa Sabet
Campaign officer: Helina Tran

Creative Agency: BMF
Chief creative officer: Alex Derwin
Chief innovation officer and executive creative director: Tara McKenty
Associate creative director & innovation lead: Kiah Nicholas
Senior copywriter: Nathan Pashley 
Head of art & design: Lincoln Grice
Chief strategy officer: Christina Aventi
Planning director: Jessica Sutanto
Chief executive officer: Stephen McArdle
General manager: Richard Woods
Group account director: Victoria Venardos
Senior account manager: Anja Cherry 
Head of TV: Jenny Lee-Archer
Senior agency producer: Emma Friend 
Head of creative services & integrated production: Simone Takasaki
Creative services director: Clare Yardley
Senior content producer: Holly Whiteley
Director: Al Moore 
Editor: Al Moore, Jeni Rohwer
Digital lead: Sam Elliott 
Digital producer: Haydon Fanning
UI/UX designer: Janet Tyler
Creative technologist: Blake Kus

Digital agency: Orchard

Director: Joel Kefali

Production company: Good Oil

Edit: Arc

Sound: Otis Studios, Rumble Studios, Beatworms


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