M&C Save the Children TV spot attacks war

M&C Saatchi has controversially recreated the Remembrance Day memorial service at London’s Cenotaph as part of a campaign to end the recruitment of child soldiers.

M&C Saatchi has controversially recreated the Remembrance Day

memorial service at London’s Cenotaph as part of a campaign to end the

recruitment of child soldiers.



Save the Children won the approval of the Royal British Legion to film a

version of the ceremony at which war veterans are replaced by a silent

audience of children, some of them disabled.



The resulting 60-second ad, breaking on national TV next Friday, will

spearhead an offensive by the charity, aimed at ending the plight of the

estimated 300,000 child soldiers forced to fight in Africa, Asia and

Latin America.



Its appearance marks a more aggressive stance by Save the Children,

which is using its rehabilitation work on behalf of child soldiers to

promote its credentials as a campaigning organisation.



Whitehall was partially blocked to traffic for almost an entire Sunday

to enable the ad to be filmed by the director, Mike Stephenson, for the

Paul Weiland Film Company.



He gave his services free, as did the actor, David Suchet, whose

voiceover declares: ’This is no time for silence. Lest we forget child

soldiers.’



A number of major sponsors, including Dixons and the Virgin group, are

bankrolling the campaign, which is being backed by 48-sheet posters and

two radio spots that incorporate the harrowing experiences of child

soldiers into the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme. Virgin and Classic FM

have agreed to run the commercials after 9pm.



The ad was inspired by a week’s fact-finding visit to civil war-torn

Liberia by the M&C copywriter, Paul Hodgkinson, who devised the campaign

with his art director, Malcolm Poynton.



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