Child abuse PSA street-poster has a secret message for kids

The Anar Foundation and Grey Spain created a lenticular street-poster about child abuse that shows a "secret" message to people who view it from a kid's eye-height.

ANAR Foundation manages in Spain the european unique phone number 116 111, to attend children and teenagers under a risk situation. On this telephone number, only for minors, they can find the help they need in a totally anonymous and confidential way. But, how can we get our message to a child abuse victim, even when they are accompanied by their aggressor?

Knowing the average height for adults and children under 10,GREY has created two different messages. Using an outdoor lenticular we show adults an awareness message, while children see a message where we offer them our help and show them the telephone number. A message only for children.

Glad they're using this power for good and not evil. Wait until the grocery stores get hold of it and start loading the pester-power ads at kids' eye-height.



  1. Brilliant, just don`t let the adults in the geographic area know about it. 

  2. While I admit it is a cute trick, I do not see the problem they are trying to solve.

    So what if a child is with their abuser and sees a phone number to call?

    In fact, I would rather the abuser knows that there is an easy to remember phone number the kid can call and that they are being encouraged to call it. It might make the abuser think twice before harming the kid again (I doubt it, but maybe).

    Christ, if the kid has to bend down a little to see clearly what the phone number and other message is, that is just going to tip off the abuser the kid is interested in the information.

    And what about tall kids or older kids? They do not get to know the sooper sekret phone number?

    1. I thought all of this too, until I WTFV (close relative of RTFA). This is acheived by lenticulars (you know, those things that change depending on the viewing angle), not just printing information at child eye-height. They literally provide a completely different-looking ad depending on the height of the viewer.

      If an abuser knows that the kid saw an ad with a phone number then they’re sure as hell gonna get weird about them using the phone at any time. By making the “adult ad” feature no phone number there’s no way an abusive parent/carer would know that their kid had seen the number at all.

      Also you spelled S00p3r S33kr1t wrong :)

      1. Unless they use the internet.

        I’m of two minds, both articulated above, about this. On the one hand it’s icky that I’m reading about this innovative approach in a commercial for the advertising company. On the other hand, it might just work, especially if it gives a child in an abusive, horrible situation a sense of secret knowledge that leads them to act on their own behalf (secret knowledge gives you secret powers which gets you out of your sense of hopelessness to act on your own behalf).

    2. I was wondering the same. Also, the number seems to be pretty subtle, white on white background… and without any accompanying explanation about that it is a number for a free and anonymous help line they can call. Would most under 10yo even realize what the number is, especially as the icon in front of it is of a land-line phone handset (I have no idea how many homes have land lines in Spain, but here they are starting to become a rarity)?

      Just feels like it has only been made to be clever, not really to solve anything. Or is there really some actual problem with the abuser seeing the phone number, too?

    3. Childline is advertised normally in the UK — I see an advert on public transport every few months.

      Their number is 0800 1111, and the main message is “it’s free, even from a mobile, and won’t show up on the bill”.

      1. Interestingly, that same number 116  111 will, in the UK, also get through to Childline.

        Oh and the same things apply – it doesn’t show up on the bill – ever

  3. @Antinous:disqus  – judging by ^ this guy’s history of comments which bear little to no relation to the topic I’m guessing he’s in here to advertise his poorly-chosen business name.

    Hey guy, kiss my asszs.

    1. Hey, coming up with a business name that accurately conveys your interest in things that are collectively possessed by your multiple members of your automotive collection was never going to be an easy fight. This dudes done the best he can under trying circumstances.

    2. I looked at it from the backside and it didn’t go anywhere.  The avatar does look a bit spammy, so I’ll nuke him.

        1. I didn’t even see that one.  It was classified as spam in the system, so it shouldn’t have been visible.  THANKS DISQUS!

  4. I fear if this were in the states the teen phone calls would get a little “pranky” and end up on YouTube. 

    1. Fortunately, British lads are respectful of authority, and would only use a public service in the intended way.

  5. Call me a cynic, but isn’t this video combined with the provocative message to adult abusers going to make matters worse?

    If this was actually out on the street *without* the advert above, there’s a good chance it makes a difference for a while. But I’d think spreading this ad too widely is going to negate the positive effects it might have.

    Even if that’s not the case, just because someone abuses children doesn’t mean they’re stupid or disconnected from the world. This isn’t going to be that effective for very long.

    Last comment: in many cities, there are benches near billboards such as this. Surely a sitting down adult will see the hidden message.

  6. Wait until the grocery stores get hold of it and start loading the pester-power ads at kids’ eye-height.

    You mean unlike now, when they app put the kiddy-attention-grabbing stuff from toys to candy right where even even kids in strollers can grab it? 

  7. Seriously. What’s the deal with this autoloading ad for rocketplanes or whatever? It’s ruining the BB experience.

        1. Thing is, I met mine around the same time.  Once they get the brain implant interface sorted out, I’m sure this will stop and I’ll get the rocketplanes.

  8. I vote yes.  Anything that helps prevent, or assist in rescuing kids from, child abuse is good in my books.

  9. Now that the damn secret is out all over the internet this idea is probably no damn good.  Nice work internet. I think now that this whole thing was an extremely clever viral campaign by the Ad Agency that made this. So now they look like the super clever agency that they are and could care less about the kids. Or I could be completely wrong.

    1. People who walk around the streets, hesitating at signs and crouching down and covering kids’ eyes will look distinctly like child abusers.

      It’s a double-edged sword.

  10. I have to join the doubters on this one too. While the abusive adult with the child may not see the different picture, they will see the child pausing by a poster talking about child abuse, and presumably jotting down a number. Even if you have no idea what’s going on, you’d probably be a little suspicious at that point. I suppose there’s always the chance that the child would remember the ad and look for the number later on (or remember the number) but I don’t see any great benefit to making it invisible to adults – if it works properly, neither adult nor child will see the trick and the child will think that the adult sees the same thing that they do.

    1. Yes, but, it really isn’t about a ‘secret’ number for kids to call, it’s a very effective awareness campaign, using a clever gimmick, rather than shock ads, which some people will tune out all together, as they are disturbed by them.

  11. The idea of any ad secretly telling my kids anything is creepy, first of all.  Second, this is just an ad agency trying to get an award for creativity, not really practically making a difference.  Third, it’s easier for the good parents to communicate with their kids if the parents know what their kids are seeing on billboards.  Fourth, why show the kid a bruised face?  Thanks, dicks.  Show the adults the bruised face, and say “If you beat your kids, your ass is grass”… and show the kids something else (plenty of creative ways to get the message to kids, without adding yet another violent image into the ecosystem).  Why not show dead Santa Claus?  I can think of nothing too good about this ad other than the root cause it is trying to support.  Otherwise, when I see a Ford ad and my kids see CocoaPuffs… we’ll know who to blame :-)

    1. Are you done, or do you need another couple of minutes telling us the motives of people you’ve never met and know roughly 500 words’ worth of information about?

    2. The idea of any ad secretly telling my kids anything is creepy, first of all.

      One of the hallmarks of abusers is the attempt to keep their victims from gaining information that could lead to ending the abuse. Abused frequently children believe that abuse is the social norm.

      Show the adults the bruised face, and say “If you beat your kids, your ass is grass”.

      Abusers already know that what they’re doing is illegal; this is an attempt to empower the victims to help free themselves.

  12. of course, the flaw in this is that it’s only visible to kids of average height or below. All those tall kids can just keep getting beaten.

    1. A little extra horror, just for the tots.

      I worked on a horror video game once.  This reminds me of the ideas we had for getting people to realize that their character was dangerously insane.

  13. Daddy, Daddy! Why is that boy beaten up?
    He’s not beaten up…
    (everyone disturbed)

  14. Unless that “secret message” says it’s secret and only the kid can see it, that kid is not going to call it! And this is assuming that the kid believes the sign is really secret. Since they can’t see what the adult sees, they have to assume the abusive adult accompanying them can also see what they’re seeing. So this is a good idea and everything, but still not effective. 

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