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One in six women suffer from severe pain every single day, but more than one in two of those women (56%) feel that because of their gender, their pain is ignored. Using packaging to share experiences of female pain, painkiller brand Nurofen is working toward closing the gender pain gap by highlighting the everyday dismissals of female pain in phase two of its ‘See My Pain’ campaign.

‘See My Pain’ Campaign

The campaign developed by McCann London revolves around imitation medicines that mimic the justifications women hear when they express their pain to family, friends, and healthcare professionals.

The campaign rests on research that found pain in women is poorly understood. One in two (56%) women surveyed felt their pain was ignored or dismissed because of their gender (compared with 36% of men). Additionally, one in six women suffers severe pain every day, and chronic pain is twice as common among women as it is among men.

During the campaign, six women speak about their experiences with various health conditions, such as endometriosis, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, sciatica, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.

Closing the Gender Pain Gap

Marketing Director at Nurofen for Reckitt, Nuria Antoja said: “The second phase of the ‘See my pain’ campaign cements the Nurofen commitment to help close the gender pain gap. By highlighting the excuses that women get thrown at them time and again to dismiss their pain we are shining a light on the problems women face when seeking treatment.

“Along with supporting these women through our awareness campaign, we have committed to a number of short- and long-term commitments in research and training for pharmacists and pharmacy teams. We are immensely proud of our ‘See my pain’ platform and the work we will be doing together with McCann Worldgroup to continue to fight pain biases so that everyone regardless of age, gender or ethnicity can take control of their pain.”

Maybe it's your age? Nurofen fake packaging - See My Pain Campaign

Nurofen created mock-up packaging to draw attention to some of the unfair dismissals women face on a daily basis when dealing with pain. In imitation medicine, labels have been created to describe dismissals women often hear about their pain, such as ‘it’s all in your head’, or ‘maybe you’re stressed’.

Gender Pain Gap - Maybe You're Stressed Nurofen See My Pain Packaging Highlighting Dismissal of Women in Pain

In the past year, McCann London held an event to raise awareness of the Gender Pain Gap during International Women’s History Month. While the products are not real and cannot be bought, mock-ups were introduced and distributed at the event. As a result of the imitation products, a range of advertising platforms will be used to highlight the issue.

You're Being Dramatic Nurofen packaging See My Pain Campaign Gender Pain Gap Report

It comes after McCann London and Nurofen kicked off the initiative in November. 

The campaign creator and Creative Director at McCann London, Ruth Boulter said: “Behind this campaign are thousands of conversations with the one in six women who experience severe pain every single day. We hope this campaign serves to be a platform for their lived experiences, acknowledgement of the times their pain has been dismissed, and validation that they deserve help and support.

“Backed by the real business changes and far-reaching commitments being made by Reckitt, we believe we can affect the ingrained gender bias in healthcare and make women’s pain more visible in our world.

“Campaigns like this are only made possible through brave client partners supporting creativity as a means to drive meaningful change and through a collaborative community of agencies all working towards the same goal: to help close the gender pain gap.”


  • Jennifer Read-Dominguez

    Jennifer Read-Dominguez is founder of The Women's Journal and a digital editorial director with over ten years experience in the media and publishing industry. Jennifer has led the digital transformation strategies for many market-leading lifestyle magazines putting SEO and e-commerce at the forefront. She is also founder of Jeneration Public Relations - a UK digital-first public relations and communications consultancy that provides strategic coverage for clients.

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