Leo Burnett Designed This Shocking Cover of Cosmopolitan to Protest ‘Honor Killings’

Shows a woman suffocating in plastic

Headshot of Tim Nudd

In 2004, a 17-year-old British-Pakistani woman named Shafilea Ahmed was suffocated and murdered by her parents, in front of her siblings, after she refused an arranged marriage.

Her death is referenced clearly and heartbreakingly on limited-edition covers of the February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the U.K. to raise awareness about so-called honor killings—in which a person is murdered by a family member for bringing what the killer believes is shame upon the family.

Leo Burnett Change, Leo Burnett's specialist arm dedicated to social change, designed the cover, which features a plastic wraparound encasing an image of a woman appearing to be suffocated. It's part of a campaign for Karma Nirvana, the U.K. charity that helps victims of honor-based violence.

The campaign also includes a 7-second online film, also by Leo Burnett, showing the plastic wrapping being ripped open, signifying the release of women from violence.

Karma Nirvana and Cosmo, in partnership with the Henry Jackson Society, are organizing an inaugural Day of Memory for Britain's Lost Women, which will take place July 14—the date of Shafilea Ahmed's birthday.


@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: January 14, 2015 https://stage.adweek.com/creativity/leo-burnett-designed-shocking-cover-cosmopolitan-protest-honor-killings-162355/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT