Some 40 Israeli and Palestinian advertisers are to meet in Jordan this weekend to try to hammer out a winning slogan for peace. They hope the effort will lead to a widely publicized peace campaign that could succeed where the politicians of both sides failed.
The group consists of top Israeli advertisers, including Moshik Teomim, of the owners of Gitam BBDO, Amos Tal Shir, of the owners of Publicis-Ariely, Muli Helfman and Carmon Peled, the creative directors of Publicis-Ariely, Dror Sternshos, Arik Bernstein and others.
Ron Pundak of the Peres Peace Center and one of the architects of the Oslo agreement, initiated the campaign. He won funding for it from Maurice Levy, owner and president of one of the largest advertising concerns in the world - the French Publicis Group.
The teams met for the first time about half a year ago in Paris. "We don't focus on political questions and don't talk about states' borders," says Pundak.
"We'll try to produce a wide, international campaign that will improve the image of the brand name `peace,' which has been tarnished over the last few years. Media and advertising professionals will try to find definitions acceptable to both sides for terms like `coexistence,'" he says.
Tal-Shir says it is time for a new brand name for the shopworn term peace "to bring it back to the public and media awareness."
Pundak says at the next stage the group will try to enlist the news media and Internet to its help. The previous efforts - Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh's The National Census and the Geneva Initiative failed to leave a lasting mark on public opinion.
"The people in this group do not represent any party or political group. They are professional image creators," says Pundak. "Ayalon and Nusseibeh and the Geneva initiators tried to reach understandings on borders and controversial issues. Our move is basically a media one, intended to remove fear and prejudice on both sides."
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