Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign launches the UK’s first ever gender recognition advert today. The groundbreaking interactive ad hosted on a Central London bus stop uses facial recognition scanning on interested viewers but only shows the ad to women – denying males the choice to view the content.

Choices for girls - the charities 40 second advert - showcases three 13 year old girls, Jasmine from the UK, Bintou (Mail) and Sur (Thailand). The girl’s voices are intercut with everyday footage of their lives revealing the three teens hopes and dreams and highlighting the choices girls are denied in developing countries.

The technology behind the advert is a first in interactive advertising, amalgamating facial recognition, touch screen and sound and has never been used as part of a UK advertising campaign before. The facial recognition software measures the distance between the viewer’s eyes, width of the nose, length of jaw line and shape of cheekbone with every millisecond to compare the data and estimate their gender.

Marie Staunton, CEO of Plan UK, says: “Millions of girls across the globe are being denied the choice to have an education and every 3 seconds a girl is coaxed, coerced or forced into early marriage. If girls like Bintou and Sur had the same choices as Jasmine in the UK they’d stay in school so they could earn a living and move themselves from poverty to opportunity.

But all too often the potential of these girls is being snuffed out through lack of choice. That’s why Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to help 4 million of the world’s poorest girls. And it’s why we’re using ground breaking technology to really drive home our messaging, to create a talking point so we can raise vital funds for our girls work.

Adds Marie, “Although we’re not giving men and boys the choice to see our ad - so they get a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away – we’re inviting everyone to join the Plan to give girls choices. We look forward to hearing the public’s thoughts”.

The gender facial recognition advert will be trialled at an Oxford Street bus stop opposite Selfridges for a two week period. Anyone wishing to find out more about the advert, see the films in full or sign up to show their support can visit

For more information, images, case studies, time with a Plan UK spokesperson or to see the ad in full, please contact Organic Development on 07989 33 33 04 :

James Moffat :

Notes to editors

Bus shelter located at the below address:
133/209 - Opposite Selfridges - Oxford St o/s 425-427(Angus Steak), W1C2PH

1) Plan is a global children’s charity. We work with children in the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future you would want for all children, your family and friends. For over 75 years we’ve been taking action and standing up for every child’s right to fulfil their potential by:

· giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water

· securing the education of girls and boys

· working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters

· inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives

· enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future.

We do what’s needed, where it’s needed most. We do what you would do. With your support children, families and entire communities have the power to move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.

2) We work with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.

Published on: 6:05PM on 21st February 2012