12 weeks of advertising in the European Voice

paperCredit photo: Fuel design

One of the reasons for the success of this campaign is the outstanding way in which classical advocacy of the EU institutions was supplemented and strengthened by innovative and highly effective political communications in the public eye (through advertising, PR activities and online campaigning) which ensured that the advocacy gains were sustained to the end. This was epitomised by the Europen Voice advertisement (one in a series of 12 conceived and executed every week immediately before publication to respond to the immediate needs of the campaign) which urged “Do the Right Thing, Mr. President” at a crucial moment when it looked as if the Commission might capitulate on its hitherto strongly supportive stance.

There was a new problem to address every Thursday, twelve thursdays in a row, making it one of the more noticed campaigns in the paper’s history. And while our teams in Canada were on the ice floats to witness the massacre of thousands of seals, they provided us with immediate, strong imagery to match our subtle words.

Thursday 19th February 2009

20090219  Ban the Cruel Seal Trade_01

Thursday 26th February

20090226 Doomed to Die_01

Thursday 05th March

20090305 A Bloody Fate_01

Thursday 12th March

20090312 The EU can save me_01

Thursday 19th March

20090319  Ban the Cruel Seal Trade_01

Thursday 26th March – Our teams in Canada send daily pictures of the seal hunt. This photo was taken mere days before publication.

20090326 End the slaughter_01

Thursday 2nd April

20090402 Do the right thing, Mr. President_01

Thursday 09th April

20090409 Life after the slaughter_01

Thursday 16th April – see our national ads at that time, too!

20090416The EU can stop this_01

Thursday, 23rd April20090423 Dont give in_01

Thursday 30th April 2009 – It’s the week before the vote, last chance to talk directly to MEPs!

20090430 MEPs Make history_01

Thursday, 7th May 2009 – The text has been adopted, the seal trade is banned in the EU. There is only one thing to say that day…

20090507 Thank you_01

Credit photo: Fuel design


Posters in Spain

After seeing our campaign in El Pais, Publi 10, the most important poster publishing company in Spain (producing posters for concerts, theater, events, etc…) contacted us to sponsor a poster and email campaign in Spain and all over Europe. They sent about 30,000 emails and plastered this poster in Spain!


To the big screen – Giant messaging in Brussels and Strasbourg

Because bigger is better, we set up a giant LED screen in Brussels – twice – and in Strasbourg.

The screens broadcasted our message non-stop during a few days each time, called to sign the online petition and summarized our main arguments. We made a point to suggest the violent of the hunt rather than bluntly showing violence, and after years spent observing seals and their family, we had plenty of cute images to show!

In Strasbourg, the screen was up from 8.00 to 10.00 pm every days leading to the vote. And as soon as the text was adopted, we found time to change the film to a new one thanking MEPs for their historic decision!

The screen in Brussels



Click on the picture below to watch the movie!


The screen in Strasbourg



Click on the image below to see the thank you video!


Photo credits: Humane Society International and Marcus Gyger.

Advertising in national newspapers

Member States had a major role to play, and never could we have left them without direct communication.

Therefore, two series of ads were produced and placed in…

France – Le Figaro


France 2_01

Spain – El Pais


Spain 2_01

Ireland – The Irish Independent


Germany: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Italy: La Reppublicca










Advertising in the Parliament Magazine

The advertising campaign started in the Parliament Magazine with the first installment of a series of ads with strong visual impact and focused messaging.

(click on image to see full size)


Reaching out to the public – seals distribution

Public support – and strong images – were reinforced when we distributed thousands of fluffy baby seal toys before the major IMCO Committee vote in Brussels, and before the Plenary vote in Strasbourg.




IMCO Committee vote

While our hostesses handed out thousands of fluffy seals at the entrances of the European Parliament and on Place Luxembourg, each IMCO MEP received one at the door of its desk, complete with its fake voting card which summarized our main arguments!

20090226 MEP Voting card label_01

20090226 MEP Voting card label_02

Plenary vote

When it was time to go to Strasbourg for the vote in Plenary, we distributed again thousands of seals at the doors of the European Parliament buildings… and put our doorhandle “position paper” on each door of each MEP’s office!

Credits photos: Fuel design, S. Kircher