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