#NOEXCUSE One Year Later

A year ago, leading up to International Men’s Day, the #NOEXCUSE movement against gender based violence (GBV) was launched by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) biggest beer brand on the African continent, Carling Black Label.

After a year of highly impactful activity across all media, and launching a powerful on-the-ground programme for change, the #NOEXCUSE movement is bringing an ambitious challenge to men over 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children: record yourself committing to ending GBV in South Africa by uploading ‘16 Seconds of Silence’ onto social media.

“GBV is a problem of men, and it’s up to men to take action to end these atrocities. As a leading brand among men in South Africa, we want to challenge the men of our nation to take a symbolic stand”, says Grant Pereira, Brand Director: Carling Black Label at ABInBev, “Visit our website, www.noexcusesa.com, to find out how you can make a difference, and be part of this mass action.”

“And we’re also taking action by releasing 5 million special edition #NOEXCUSE over 16 Days of Activism, and using the power and reach of Carling Black Label to spread the message that real men take action against GBV”, says Pereira.

“At its core, #NOEXCUSE is a movement for change, and we’re very proud to be joined by organisations dedicated to making the country a better and safer place, especially our launch partners Takuwan Riime, our helpline through Lifeline, our community change partners, Father-A-Nation, and our new online partner forgood where the public at large can get involved in initiatives to end GBV and help the victims.”

#NOEXCUSE is a long-term, five-year initiative aimed at driving awareness, provoking action and providing tools for men and women to take positive action as a means of driving a change. #NOEXCUSE refers to there being no excuse for men to abuse women, and no excuse for men to stand by and do nothing when others abuse.

“Our decision to launch the #NOEXCUSE movement was driven by Carling Black Label’s status as a lighthouse of modern masculinity. As the largest beer brand in the country, we strongly believe we have a role to play in challenging South African men and our consumers to take action against women abuse” says Andrea Quaye, Vice President Marketing, SAB and AB InBev Africa.

“While many of our consumers drink responsibly and in moderation, we know that some people who commit acts of gender violence, use the abuse of alcohol as an excuse. Through the #NOEXCUSE movement, a spotlight is being shone on the issue of abuse and re-enforcing the message that alcohol should be consumed responsibly. We believe that smart drinking choices affect everyone, every day and we want every experience with beer to be a positive one,” says Quaye.

The campaign has made major strides this year, with the main objective of driving positive change in our communities.

Our first move in 2018 was to provoke action with the ‘Soccer Songs for Change’ activation at the National Stadium in March 2018. There is greater incidence of GBV after soccer games and so we took advantage of one of the country’s biggest soccer moments, the Soweto Derby, where at least 80% of SA’s men would be present and engaged. Before kick-off the words of the soccer anthem ‘Mas’hambe Nono’ were changed half-way to deliver a passionate plea by a women to her husband to not commit GBV. It was a defining moment for the #NOEXCUSE movement, with record-breaking interactions across all media and winner of many international and local awards.

We followed this with a ground-breaking radio drama, Isizathu, leading up to Women’s Day, showing the plight of a woman suffering GBV at her the hands of her husband, and highlighting the excuses given by friends and family to hide the reality of GBV. The radio-drama was recorded in three languages and reach over 10 million people on 4 regional radio stations. It was combined with a live WhatsApp experience which brought home through multi-media the horrors of GBV. Isizathu also marked the start of our partnership with the NGO, LifeLine, and the launch of our GBV Helpline, 0800 150 150.

#NOEXCUSE then moved into on-the-ground action through the launch of our ‘Champions for Change’ programme, to drive positive change among men and women in our communities. The ‘Champions for Change’ programme is in partnership with the NGO, Father-A-Nation, where we are working together to provide training and tools to men to create ‘Champions’ in each community, who in turn will recruit more ‘Champions’ so, in time, we create a force for positive change against GBV at grass roots level.

The first pilots for the programme have been held in Khayelitsha, Western Cape and Boipelong, Vaal Triangle. These have proved to more successful than our expectations, emphasising the fact that there is a silent majority of men out there who will never commit GBV, and who want to be Champions against GBV. The programme will roll-out nationally from next year, and we’re committed to impacting up to a million men with this programme over the next five years.

In conclusion, we’re pleased to report that in-house research we’ve conducted is starting to show some ‘green shoots’ of progress in changing attitudes, and ultimately behaviour, among particularly men, against GBV. It is our belief, and our sincere hope that our #NOEXCUSE campaign is supporting the eradication of GBV from our society, so our sons and daughters can grow up in a better world.

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