A campaign by VMLY&R
Throughout history, female writers have written under male pseudonyms for many reasons, often as the only way for their work to be published and given the attention it deserves. Now for the first time, in collaboration with Women’s Prize for Fiction - as a way of honouring and celebrating some of these amazing novels of the past - Baileys is re-releasing these classic works with the author’s true names on the cover, giving them the visibility and credit they deserve.
To celebrate Women’s Prize for Fiction’s 25th anniversary, Baileys, as longstanding sponsors, wanted to create a campaign to help celebrate women's creative achievements.
The ‘Reclaim Her Name’ initiative will see 25 novels re-released and available for free, championing female writers throughout the ages who faced many obstacles, not least sexism and prejudice. Devised in collaboration with leading consumer creative agency, VMLY&R, the team carefully selected each of the 25 books, searching archives, online and university resources to identify female writers who disguised their gender with pseudonyms.
The collection of books includes Middlemarch by Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot) and A Phantom Lover by Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee) and aims to encourage new and important conversations around the continuing challenges women face in publishing, and authors' many reasons for using a pseudonym.
Although attitudes have significantly changed in today’s literary world, female authors still experience gender bias1 and though some still use male pseudonyms by choice, others do so as a way to level the playing field or because they need to conceal their identity.
All works in the new ‘Reclaim Her Name’ series have received a beautiful modern cover design update from an inspiring selection of female illustrators all over the world, including Brazil, Russia, Jordan, and Germany.
Liz Petry, daughter of Anne Petry, who’s book ‘Marie of the Cabin Club’ has been featured in the collection commented; “When I was asked if my mother’s work could be included within such a worthy collection of books along with other impressive female writers, I was honoured. I’m incredibly proud of my mother’s work and it excites me that her writing has been introduced to a new audience through this collection. I know she would be thrilled to be a part of this as it’s an incredible conversation starter for such an important cause - my mother always believed in a world with shared humanity and I think this project encapsulates that.”
Women’s Prize for Fiction founder director Kate Mosse, said: “Baileys has been a sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction for many years now and together we have been dedicated to honouring, celebrating and championing women's writing. Together, we’re incredibly excited by the Reclaim Her Name campaign – it’s a lovely way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Prize, by doing what we always strive to do – empowering women, igniting conversations and ensuring that they get the recognition they deserve”.
Adrienne Gammie, category marketing director – Gins, Pimm’s & Baileys, said: “The Women’s Prize for Fiction champions the power of female voices, something we care deeply about at Diageo. Through ‘Reclaim Her Name’ we are excited for Baileys to extend this celebration of literary achievement to authors who concealed their gender on their work – shining a spotlight on these incredible female storytellers.”
Tamryn Kerr, creative director, VMLY&R said, “Many of the authors we selected were suffragettes and staunch feminists. I’d like to think of this project as our way of thanking them for what they did for us — and of supporting a new generation of artists through the new cover art that 13 inspiring female illustrators, from all over the world, created for the Reclaim Her Name collection.”
Client: Senior Brand Manager, Diageo, Lucy Barrett
CCO: Laurent Simon
Chairman: Mark Roalfe
Creative Director: Tamryn Kerr
Creative: Sophie Taylor, George Robb
Head of Design: Chris Willis
Senior Designer: Dominic Frain
Senior Producer: Charlotte Davis, Sarah Knight
Strategist: Mark Linford
Business Director: Freddie Campbell
Senior Account Manager: John New
Studio Manager/Artworker: Grant Gilliard
Artworker: Daniel Arnott
Project Manager: Sarah Morton, Joseph Walker, Pip Rook
Social Media: Sinead Brennan, Caner Daywood
- Managing director
- Mural Republic
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly email alert and receive a regular curation of the best creative campaigns by creatives themselves.