Womanhood & Toxic Masculinity: Meet Laura Visco, The Creative Innovator Challenging It All

We sat down with Laura Visco to talk about being a change-maker in advertising. For years, Laura describes how she held her tongue. Now, she's found her voice and has a lot to say. In this interview, Laura talks about her recent project, Invisible Creatives, and why embracing diversity is a must.
“Women are told be likeable, but if you have strong ideas, the only way to remain likeable is to remain invisible." 

When Creative Director Laura Visco began working in advertising at age 19 in Argentina, she was the only female creative.

“I was told I was lucky to be there, so for many years I just sat in the corner and did the work.”Today, nearer to 40 than 30, she’s found her voice.

“I don’t give a shit about being likable anymore, and it turns out I have a lot to say!”

On top of her day job at creative agency 72andSunny, Laura has many projects on the go. She’s writing a feature film challenging the notion that women are only ‘complete’ once they become mothers, and she’s the co-founder of Invisible Creatives; a platform to fix the gender ratio in advertising.

Laura believes advertising can be an agent for social change, shaping people’s perceptions and culture, but did she ever thinking of leaving? “Fuck yes!”

“At one point, I burnt out, quit my job, and went to India. There are things I hate about the industry, but things I love too. Time out helped me reflect on the work I wanted to do, and the projects I want to be part of.”

Her first big piece of work, in which her voice 'came alive,' was the creation of the first social mission campaign for Axe/Lynx. This shed light on toxic masculinity, and the pressure men face to conform to gender roles, too.

Laura firmly believes that brands can have a positive impact on society, especially when creativity challenges the status quo, but she looks outside of work for inspiration too. Last month, when politicians in Argentina were about to cast a vote on abortion, she felt compelled to act.

In 15 minutes Laura created a video highlighting the various unsafe ‘homemade’ solutions women are left with when abortion is made illegal.

The video asks those in power: Do you really know what you’re voting for? A light bulb moment, a quick action, and distribution only through her own social channels. The result? It went viral, and to date has more than 11 million views.

Invisible Creatives, the world’s first database for junior, senior and director female creatives, was launched in the same way. “A soft launch” as she describes it, yet overnight it received over 200 submissions from Qatar, India, Denmark and Australia.

“Diversity is a hot topic, but rather than talking about it, we wanted to create a tangible tool. Now there’s literally no excuse not to have more diverse talent in the room.”

Laura firmly believes that diversity is essential to keeping advertising relevant. She says:

“For many years it’s been the same demographic coming up with the same ideas again and again. To stay relevant and meaningful, we need to mix things up!”

In all of her work, Laura strives to bring visibility to urgent issues and her personal mission is to challenge the status quo through creativity. And the proof is in the pudding - it works!

If you’re a female creative, or looking for great talent, explore Invisible Creatives here.

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