PR Campaign Asked To Work Wonders

from Haaretz: Seeking to improve its image among Palestinians, the United States has launched an advertising campaign in the West Bank, using billboards and television commercials filled with grinning children to tell Palestinians they have cleaner water and more classrooms thanks to its generosity.
But the U.S. government’s campaign is off to a tough start: No Palestinian entertainer or athlete was willing to serve as its goodwill ambassador, reflecting widespread anti-American sentiment. No political leaders were asked to participate.
Ads are broadcast 15 times a day on local radio and eight times a day on local TV stations as well as two Arab satellite stations, and messages are plastered on 70 billboards. Each ad ends with the slogan: “From people to people,” separating the aid from U.S. government policy.
But the prevailing view is that the ad money is being wasted – and that attitudes won’t budge until Washington drops what Palestinians consider its pro-Israel bias and gets serious about Palestinian statehood.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.