Business, Economics and Jobs

Child abuse billboard contains secret message only visible to children


A young child attends a protest against government's plans to reform the use of Catalan language and cuts in the center of Barcelona on December 13, 2012. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)



The international nonprofit Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk (ANAR) and the Grey Group Spain ad agency have joined forces in an innovative effort to shed some light on the growing problem of child abuse.

And if their public project is successful, they may just be able to give children the means to seek help without alerting their abuser. 

The savvy ad campaign uses lenticular printing — a technology that is also used for 3D displays — to produce  images with an illusion of depth and the seeming ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

The ad shows individuals below a certain height — children, in this case — one image, while taller grownups see a different image with a starkly different message.

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To adults, the billboard will appear with an image of a little boy with a simple, yet powerful message, "Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it."

Alternatively, children — or anyone roughly 4-foot-4-inches or shorter — will see an image of a bruised child with whom they might identify as well as a far more direct and potentially useful instruction: "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we'll help you," along with the foundation's phone number.

While the ad is designed to empower children who are experiencing abuse at home, especially if their abuser is standing next to them on the street, the effectiveness of the campaign remains to be seen.

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