Landmine ads deploy sick jokes to shock

Ads that appear to poke fun at limbless landmine victims are being used by a charity to draw attention to the ’sick joke’ of uncleared mines.

Ads that appear to poke fun at limbless landmine victims are being

used by a charity to draw attention to the ’sick joke’ of uncleared

mines.



Complaints about the TV, poster and radio campaign by the Mines Advisor

Group seem certain because the ads juxtapose harrowing pictures of

victims with black humour.



One, produced by Landsdown Conquest, shows a man who has had the bottom

half of his body blown away with the caption: ’Heard about the farmer

who tried to clear mines from his land? He splashed out on a

tractor.’



Another features a child with stumps instead of legs. It reads: ’Heard

about the boy who thought a landmine was a toy? He was thrilled to

bits.’



All the ads support the campaign’s theme: ’The sickest joke is not

clearing mines.’



The Radio Advertising Copy Clearance Centre refused to pass the MAG

campaign for nationwide use although some stations, including Capital,

have agreed to run it. The BACC has approved a TV ad for screening after

the agency toned down the original script.



Simon Frank, the agency’s creative director, worked on the ads along

with the art director, John Trainor, and the creative team of Gary

Walker and Huw Williams.



’It’s easy to produce nice, polite advertising that offends nobody if

you’re the Red Cross with a budget of millions,’ Frank said. ’But when

you are a truly penniless charity in desperate straits, polite coughs

simply won’t work.’



The campaign seeks to highlight MAG’s work on landmine and unexploded

bomb clearance in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.



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