Today we call it cyberbullying and online harassment. I've traveled up to my stepdad's cabin up in the beautiful and calming Adirondacks in upstate New York. Within 48 hours, I'm sitting in a windowless room inside the office of the Independent Counsel underneath humming fluorescent lights.
CANNES, France—Whether they know it or not, advertisers are fueling a "blood sport" of public shaming both online and off, Monica Lewinsky told a packed crowd at the ad industry's top event." data-title = "Here’s the Full Text of Monica Lewinsky’s Powerful Anti-Shaming Speech in Cannes" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" Rather than being put off by her hard-hitting message, though, the Cannes Lions audience on Thursday showed Lewinsky tremendous appreciation, giving her one of the festival's few standing ovations.
In a session sponsored by Ogilvy & Mather, Lewinsky asked the world's creative and marketing leaders to help usher in a new era of compassion and empathy. Breaking a cycle of invasive, abusive social behavior that may be driven by mean-spirited trolls but is subsidized by the advertisers who buy space in websites and other media that thrive on public embarrassment.
That meant that in 1998, the oldest among the group were just 14 years old, and the youngest were 4.
I joked that some of them might know me only from rap songs. By my original count, it was almost 40 rap songs, but it actually turned out to be over 120, with a new one added just last week.
But can you imagine what it is like when the brand is you? Your likeness, your name, your history, your values, your soul? You're looking at a woman who was publicly silent for a decade due in part to a brand crisis and branding, or rather how I was branded, by whom and for what purpose.
Obviously the publicly silent bit has changed, but only recently.
I was patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously. I was branded as a tart, slut, whore, bimbo, floozy and, of course, "that woman." I was seen by many but truly known by few. It was easy to forget that woman was dimensional, had a soul and was once unbroken.
During this period, I came to realize that there were two Monica Lewinskys.
Now she has returned to the global stage as an advocate for more compassionate behavior online and in the media.