Reclame Aqui: The Colour of Corruption

May 20, 2017Filed under PR, Online and Public Interest, NGO

The Colour of Corruption is a Google Chrome plug-in that makes every corrupt politician visible by highlighting their names in purple and detailing their criminal allegations with a simple mouse-over.

Company turns into digital activist to help population fight Brazil’s deep-rooted corruption

‘The Colour of Corruption’ ( is a Google Chrome plug-in that makes every corrupt politician visible by highlighting their names in purple and detailing their criminal allegations with a simple mouse-over.

Brazil, 2000's. During the economic boom, when consumer spending soared but companies often failed to deliver what they had promised, Reclame Aquigrew in importance and became the #1 consumer-protection brand in the country. The company now helps more than 85 million people each year to expose thousands of corporations and their bad service, with more than 600,000 unique visitors every day.

Fast cut to 2016. Brazil is living an age of epic corruption and political cynicism. Operação Lava Jato, or Operation Carwash — which started in 2014 — revealed a massive system of kickbacks and corruption involving almost all of the major political parties and hundreds of leading companies. With the country plunged into the third year of recession — mainly caused by political scandals — population shifted focus from consumption to citizenship.

And so did Reclame Aqui.

The company that has been the most reliable consumer watchdog for more than a decade, decided to expand its business to citizen-rights, by exposing the nation’s new public enemies: corrupt politicians.

According to the global annual study “Edelman Trust Barometer 2017”, nothing concerns the Brazilians more than corruption. But all the scandals that have made the headlines are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are 70,000 politicians in this country and thousands of them still get away with corruption, thanks to a complex justice system that makes it almost impossible for a common citizen to see who the corrupt politicians really are. Until now.

Recently launched, ‘The Colour of Corruption’ ( is simple tool that has the power to change the country by uncovering official information on corrupt politicians — previously hidden in hundreds of courts across Brazil — and giving people free and easy access to all these data.

From the project website — in just three clicks — everyone can download and install the Google Chrome plug-in that paints a vivid purple band over the name of any politician involved with corruption or bad administration.

All their official records of accusations, investigations and convictions have been collected from different instances of justice and made available in anyone’s browser. A simple mouse over reveals legal processes the politician is facing, making all that unreachable data easily available on a list.

It works on every website, search engine, news portal and social network. Including the official profiles of corrupt politicians, who have tried to shut down Reclame Aqui's initiative at least eight times since the launch of the platform.

Created by Grey Brazil, the tool was developed with a single reason: to empower the population by providing them access to official information they'd never had before and exposing the true colours of each Brazilian Politician — leaving the corrupt ones no place to hide. “It is a flag from all civil society and a technological fightback against corruption and impunity” said Rodrigo Jatene, CCO of the creative agency.

Companies must take a stand

“We’ve joined efforts over a common interest: to help the Brazilian population effectively fight against government corruption and to conscientiously choose our next generation of politicians” said Maurício Vargas, founder of Reclame Aqui Institute. “This initiative is motivated by a feeling of indignation, filling a void to offer information and transparency to the people. Today, Brazilians need to be more informed, aware and vocal than ever before. We must take action and put the future of our country in our own hands ahead of the 2018 elections.”

Partnering with Academia and Civil Society

In support of the program, one of Brazil’s most top-tier academic institutions — Catholic Pontificia University of Paraná (PUCPR) — signed on as The Colour of Corruption’s main partner. Now 20,000 students are being trained to track official data from all courts and update our database daily. Participation in the program is voluntary and will become an extension of the graduation courses offered by the institution, granting course credit.

“This project not only educates Brazilian college students, but also promotes the practice of citizenship,” said Waldemiro Gremski, Dean at PUCPR. “Political awareness is a very important step for these young people to truly see themselves as citizens and to understand the impact of their social choices.”

To download plug-in: 

Advertising Agency:Grey, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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