Taboo or Not Taboo? That is the Question

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Sex, death, and female health, we hear from brands that have taken a bite from the forbidden fruit.

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Over the past years, brands across the board have been taboo-busting like never before. In this panel, we will ask why that is, looking at which brands have taken a bite of the forbidden fruit, why they did it and whether or not they were ever going to be capable of pulling it off.

For when it comes to taboos, the breaking of our implicit societal codes can be the sharpest of double-edged swords. In some cases, it can prove dire, but in others, it can help bolster a brand in ways not seen anywhere else.

In this discussion, we will be exploring the thin line between those who are breaking taboos and those who are simply following in the trailblazers' wake.

Expect questions such as:

  • What is a taboo?
  • What makes taboo-busting so powerful?
  • What do brands stand to gain or lose from breaking taboos?
  • What is the right way to go about breaking a taboo?
  • Do brands have permission to reshape cultural norms?

In short, this panel is designed to help brands discover whether or not they are positioned to take advantage of a cultural landscape in flux.


Paul Kemp-Robertson, Co Founder, Contagious Magazine

Paul served on the launch team behind Shots magazine in 1990, becoming editor in 1994. Subscriptions trebled under his tenure. His TED Talk on Alternative Currencies has been viewed more than 1.25 million times. Alongside his US colleague, Chris Barth he is the co-author of The Contagious Commandments book.

Heather Morrison, Co Founder, Handi

Heather is co-founder and CEO of Handi, a start-up on a mission to put pleasure within reach, starting by creating the first line of sex toys for people with disabilities. Previous to her role at Handi, she spent over a decade as an award-winning advertising and innovation strategist. Working on high profile campaigns and product development for global brands like Uber Eats, IKEA and Subway.

Meng Shui, Creative Director, Thinx

Meng Shui is currently Creative Director at Thinx Inc, a New York-based company and the most innovative leader in the space of underwear for menstruation and incontinence. Meng has been using her creativity to bring taboo topics like period and light bladder leaks into mainstream conversations since 2015. Through her work, she not only persuaded millions to period directly into their underwear, but also raised global awareness for trans people with periods, educated us on how to have period sex, given men periods on national TV, and projected the demand for menstrual equity onto the UN building.

Sinéad Molloy, Head of Marketing, CoppaFeel!

Sinéad has worked on some of CoppaFeel!'s most taboo-breaking, life-saving campaigns, bringing bare, natural boobs to billboards, making global news with the first female nipple on daytime TV and challenging the way we talk about our bodies and breast cancer. From first-of-their kind checking resources for trans people to a ground-breaking Boob Bot, her goal is to remove the taboo around boobs and ensure the stories we tell are inclusive and accessible to every young person, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or perspective.

Matt Moore, Corporate Fundraising Manager, Mermaids

Matt Moore (he/him) is Corporate Fundraising Manager at Mermaids. He started working in the LGBT+ charity sector at Stonewall in 2016 where he advised global retail, travel and FMCG organisations on their inclusion and diversity practices, before moving on to manage major partnerships including Aviva and Absolut Vodka.

At Mermaids he leads all corporate engagement for the charity, including their 2020 partnership with Starbucks UK for their winning Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising campaign - #WhatsYourName. Moving forward he is working closely with companies to help them create inclusive workplaces for trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people.

Eddy Edwards, Creative Director, DeadHappy

Experienced creative, strategist and MD in the Branding, Design and Advertising industry. Trained creative BA (Hons), evolving into account direction and client relations before forming the central London agency BEAR as owner/MD in 2000. Sold 50% share in 2016. Currently Brand Consultant / Brand Director for DeadHappy.

Taboo or Not Taboo: That is the Question will take place on 30/06/21, book now.

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