‘Learning, understanding, and talking about consent can’t wait’: DSS and BMF launch important campaign

The Department of Social Services is reminding young Australians that ‘Consent Can’t Wait’, in a new campaign via BMF.

The campaign encourages education, understanding and discussion of consent between young people and their influencers – particularly parents.

It highlights the number of questions that need to be answered before moments of intimacy, asking adults to update their understanding of consent and get on the same page, to teach younger people.

“Consent is a culturally loaded word, fraught with connotations, systemic inconsistencies, and media rhetoric. It’s also a personal and private topic, so people don’t talk about it unless they ‘need’ to,” said Christina Aventi, chief strategist at BMF.

“But all across Australia, people are engaging in consent-relevant moments. Studies show that one in two of them are confused about consent and harbour questions about the topic that they keep to themselves. And, as long as we continue to hold our questions about consent silent – as long as we don’t know the answers – the next generation will too.”

The behavioural change campaign aims to remove fear and judgement surrounding conversations about sexual consent, and invite Australians to talk more openly about it – for themselves, and their kids.

It features real Australian couples with internal thoughts and questions many keep to themselves – questions that the campaign urges the next generation need to know.

“We know consent is hard to define, but kids are learning more than we think, and we can’t leave it to chance and hope for the best,” Aventi continued.

“So, the first step is to educate ourselves and get to a shared understanding. Because before we can teach young people what’s right and wrong about consent, we need to get clearer ourselves.”

Kiah Nicholas, associate creative director at BMF, added: “From casting real couples to an intimacy coordinator on set, to wardrobe autonomy, to consent over how the scenes were set; consent was integrated into every facet of the campaign process. It was critical to us that our campaign didn’t just talk the consensual talk but walked the consensual walk. After all, if we can’t act with consent, how can we expect the Australian public to?”

The campaign was carried out by Revolver director Dani Pearce, who Nicholas said “brought it to life” with consideration, collaboration, and respect.

“We were in awe of the level of craft and care that Dani and her team members put into the project,” she explained.

“We hope this campaign inspires all Australians to take action and help make change possible by getting up-to-speed on, and improving their understanding of, consent. We can’t hold our questions about consent silent a second longer. Because if we don’t know the answers, how will our kids? – Learning, understanding, and talking about consent can’t wait.”

The campaign is live across TV, cinema, OOH, online video, and social.

In addition, a website has been created, for Aussies to easily check their understanding of sexual content, and access resources, conversation guides, and First Nations resources.


Client: Department of Social Services
Branch manager, campaigns and strategic communication: Mardi Stewart
Director, campaigns: Turong Francis
Co-campaign manager: Nicole Bell
Co-campaign manager: Lauren Jeffrey
Campaign officer: Laura Griffin  

Creative agency: BMF
Chief creative officer: Alex Derwin
Chief innovation officer: Tara McKenty
Group creative director: Tom Hoskins
Associate creative director: Kiah Nicholas
Senior creative: Nathan Pashley
Head of art & design: Lincoln Grice
Chief strategy officer: Christina Aventi
Planning director: Jess Sutanto
Chief executive officer: Stephen McArdle
General manager: Richard Woods
Group account director: Victoria Vernardos
Senior account manager: Anja Cherry
Head of TV: Jenny Lee-Archer
Agency producer: Honae MacNeill
Finished artist: Jayde Chan
Creative services director: Clare Yardley
Digital lead: Sam Elliott
Digital producer: Haydon Fanning
UI/UX designer: Janet Tyler
Production director: Karen Liddle
Integrated producer: Simone Plaza 

Digital agency: Orchard 

Production company: Revolver
Director: Dani Pearce
Executive producer: Pip Smart 

Post production: ARC Edit
Editor: Phoebe Taylor
Sound production: Cam Milne / Squeak E Clean
Music: Lydia Davies / Squeak E Clean
DOP: Jeremy Rouse
Production director: Sarah Nichols 


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