The Blank Edition
Lebanese paper An-Nahar prints blank issue to protest political gridlock.
Following the first nationwide elections since 2009, Lebanon, due to political infighting and gridlock, had been without a government for over 5 months. The lack of functioning government stalled the country and pushed the economy to the brink of collapse. Politicians from all camps used the countries press to placate the public by way of a continuous stream of excuses all while being paid to do nothing.
In Lebanon politicians/political parties own and directly control a number of different media outlets. As an independently owned newspaper, An Nahar’s readership values the papers impartial editorial style. When it became clear that a number of politicians were using the press to perpetuate political gridlock, An Nahar decided that it needed to act. In the face of growing apathy, we chose to print a blank newspaper because it would cut through the cluttered news space and draw interest from all sides. We then decided to leverage our outspoken base to help spread the campaigns message across different mediums.
After printing the news daily for over 85 years, An Nahar released an entirely blank newspaper. Working collaboratively with Porter Novelli affiliate, Impact BBDO, The blank newspaper caused a wave of interest and speculation in the country. When that speculation reached its height, the papers’ editor-in-chief called a press-conference to reveal our activation — she called on the nation to use the blank newspapers to write the future that they deserved. The activation quickly became a number one trending topic on Twitter and the country was flooded with alternative futures. International media, politicians and celebrities took notices propelling Lebanon’s political crisis into the into the global spotlight. Something even Lebanon’s politicians couldn’t ignore.
- Number one trending topic on Twitter.
- Coverage in over 100 international publication including (New York Times, Washington Post, BBC)
- Best selling edition of the newspaper of all time.
- Over 500 million media impressions.