The Jewish Agency’s Campaign Ad
On Anti-Semitism
Is A Waste Of Money

15 February, 2007

Open letter to
Mr. Ze’ev Bielski
Chairman
The Jewish Agency

Dear Mr. Bielski,

This is not a personal criticism.

I refer to the Agency’s media campaign against anti-Semitism. This was the subject of a commentary by Matthew Wagner and Laura Rheinheimer in the Jerusalem Post Feb. 5, 2007.

The writers reveal that over 40 of the US’s leading news media refused to sell the desired banner space. All I can say is thank goodness. For the ad is poorly conceived and the copywriting inherently bad. It could have been written by a copywriting intern and ok’ed by a pressured creative director.

In any event the ad is only likely to achieve low readership and is unlikely to do much harm. However, further publication will be a complete waste of hard won donors’ contributions. Indeed I doubt whether any paid media advertising will succeed in engaging the support of non-Jews in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Smart PR might succeed where regular advertising won’t. Here are three examples of successful Palestinian PR to support this conclusion.

• Disputed/administered territories became occupied territories.

• Inherently steeped in an apartheid religion which governs their daily lives, the new Palestinians have successfully foisted the apartheid libel on Israel – an essentially anti-apartheid society.

• The Arabs, who had waited till 1964 before claiming Palestinian nationality, have successfully morphed themselves into Palestinians. They’ve also made a lot of peolple believe they’ve lived in “Palestine since time immemorial”.

I provide a detailed analysis of my reasons for criticizing the Agency’s ad, by way of the annexure below. I hope you will pass this on to whoever is responsible for this advertising travesty.

With best wishes for your continued personal success.

Jock L. Falkson
Ra’anana

=======================================================

Annexure:

(Ad copy in bold.)

When you ignore the risks . . . you get burned!

Really? Sometimes nothing happens, we all know that. Else we may merely sustain a fall or lose a finger, or tear a shirt.

In any event the headline is not clever. It’s not compelling enough to attract attention. It neither presents the problem nor the solution.

Moreover, the American expression “get burned” will probably not be properly understood by a majority in the English speaking world outside the U.S.

Iran, under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, wishes to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth, exactly as Hitler did in his time.

This sentence is unfortunate because it can be understood to mean that Hitler did wipe the Jews off the map – which of course is thankfully not true. Copy which requires the reader to reflect on what it means is not acceptable.

When Antisemitism comes at us from all directions, and it is not that important who you are, where you come from and where you are living, the time has come for us to wake up and protest.

Ouch – a 37 word sentence! The first ‘and’ is quite unnecessary and its inclusion could make it sound like an insult to many readers. Frankly, it’s always important to me who I am.

Who is ‘us’? If the ad is addressed to Jewish readers, hearers or viewers it would at least be on target. But the article which brought this ad to my attention indicates it was intended for CNN – which refused it. And to other non-Jewish media.

Since anti-Semitism does not endanger non-Jews the ad would not have made sense to the overwhelming majority of the non-Jewish audience. Moreover the ad has little if any hope of convincing non-Jews they are equally at risk unless they side with Jews.

It is time for our voice to be heard! Does the reader know who is ‘our’? The time has come… is a platitude.

Next the reader is presented with another long sentence – 36 words. I find that unforgivable. I can hardly believe a professional copywriter would do this.

If you, why the comma? too, oh dear another comma. hear the sounds and see the sights, semi colon is referable. If you, too, remove unnecessary commas. fear that remove unnecessary ‘that’. the world is moving to a bad place, which reminds you of dark and somber days – a non sequitur since the writer has no exact idea what the reader will think. In any event this would only apply to those of us still alive to remember. vote now – to halt antiSemitism.

Vote, and take part in the largest virtual happening in the world ‘world’s largest’ would be better. and, together, let our voice be heard throughout the world! Do not remain silent!!! What a spectacular non-rousing call to do nothing in particular!

Finally, why does the ad not provide the name of the advertiser?

========================================================================== In addition to the text the ad pictures Ahmadinejad saying “Israel must be wiped off the map”

Here is the complete text of the ad without commentary:

When you ignore the risks . . . you get burned!

Iran, under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, wishes to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth, exactly as Hitler did in his time.

When anti-Semitism comes at us from all directions, and it is not that important who you are, where you come from and where you are living, the time has come for us to wake up and protest. It is time for our voice to be heard! The time has come . . .

If you, too, hear the sounds and see the sights, if you, too, fear that the world is moving to a bad place, which reminds you of dark and somber days – vote now – to halt anti-Semitism.

Vote, and take part in the largest virtual happening in the world and, together, let our voice be heard throughout the world!

Do not remain silent!!!

Leave a Reply