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Flash Dance in the Red Light District

Flash Dance in the Red Light District

UPDATE: Adland just revealed that the location of this event was misrepresented as Red Light District, when in fact it was staged in the more posh Jordaan neighbourhood.

I find this deceit really disappointing. While the message is important and the execution excellent, the “guerrilla” aspects of the campaign are tarnished by misrepresentation. It is, in effect, just an ad now. As Adland’s Åsk writes, “My spontaneous applause came from the fact I thought this dancing flashmob of pretend-hookers were delivering the message to the actual target market of men who buy women in the red light district.”


Amsterdam’s Red Light District is known worldwide as a place of prostitution, and the area is frequented both by “Johns” and curious tourists. As Duval Guillaume points out, “They often see the prostitutes as a kind of entertainment, every day hundreds of ‘windowshoppers’ from all over the world take a stroll on the Amsterdam canals.”

Stop The Traffik used this captivatied audience as a way to tell the world that this is not fun and games; that real people are suffering as a result of human trafficking that supplies the sex trade.

While the flash mob idea is getting pretty stale, the context and the pure precision of this one make it worthwhile. And the message, that so many international “dancers” end up selling their bodies instead, is powerful and memorable.

Stop The Traffik
Duval Guillaume

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more