The Economist is boosting its profile across Europe with
advertising that exploits the magazine’s reputation for uncovering
unpalatable truths that governments would prefer to hide.
A 60-second spot, the first to be made by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for
potential Economist readers on mainland Europe, is inspired by real-life
clashes between the magazine and the governments of Malaysia, Egypt and
The film - shot at the Woolwich Arsenal - features an army lorry being
driven through dark, dingy and deserted streets at the dead of
Behind iron gates, a squad of armed soldiers unloads a locked trunk from
the vehicle. The final shot shows copies of the Economist, containing a
cover story on human rights abuse, being thrown into a furnace.
The accompanying commentary describes how the magazine was ’seized in
Malaysia, refused entry into Egypt for exposing police brutality,
snatched from the streets of Nigeria for uncovering misuse of oil
It advises viewers who want to discover the truth about other companies
and countries to ’get your hands on the Economist. If you can’.
The commercial, written by Alfredo Marcantonio and art directed by Peter
Gausis, was directed by Johann Brisinger for Brian Byfield Films. It
will run on CNN Europe, BBC World, European Business News, NBC, CNBC and
in-flight on Iberia airlines.
John Coghill, the Economist’s brand marketing manager, said the campaign
is aimed at senior European business people, decision-makers and opinion
formers who do not have the same familiarity with the magazine as their
He added: ’We are making the point that its coverage goes far beyond
business news and comment.’