Is Mommy-Bashing the Best Way to Highlight Domestic Workers' Rights?

Film by O&M Singapore Urges Employers to Give a Day Off

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In Singapore, recent figures estimate that approximately 40 percent of Singapore's domestic workers do not have a weekly day off, despite a law that came into effect in January 2013 making it mandatory.

To highlight this issue, organization Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather Singapore to make this film aimed squarely at moms who employ maids. It's designed to tap into mommy guilt: the film interviews both mothers and domestic workers in a split-screen format, as each are asked some questions about their kids. For example, the film's interviewers asks the mothers and nannies what the kids had for breakfast, who their best friends are, what are their favorite subjects at school and what the kids want to be when they grow up. They then ask the child, and it turns out the caretakers' answers are the correct ones. The film reveals that in 74% of interviews, the maids got it more right than the moms.

After yet more tugging of the heartstrings (a little girl who says she goes to her maid when she has nightmares) the film asks, "Shouldn't we spend more time with our children?" before urging employers to give their domestic workers a day off.

The film might be effective in bringing out the guilt, but we wonder, what are those moms doing while the maids are watching the kids? If they're working, then the film seems to suggest that moms with careers are a no-no. And also -- where are the dads? They should be shouldering some of that parental guilt too.

The film is being launched online at a dedicated campaign website,, in the run up International Worker's Day on May 1, and the agency is also encouraging Twitter debate using the hashtag #IGiveADayOff.

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Apr 23, 2015
Ogilvy & Mather Singapore
Chief Creative Officer:
Eugene Cheong
Executive Creative Director:
Nicolas Courant
Senior Copywriter:
Fabio Montero
Art Director:
John-John Skoog
Art Director:
KaiRong Ku
Art Director:
Marcos Gemal
Production House:
Hogarth & Ogilvy (H&O)
Executive Producer:
James Brook-Partridge
Amanda Zhang
Adele Huang
Alexis Lefort
Jason Joseph
Koon Lim
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