May 6, 2008


Getting the message out for Hezbollah and rivals (Daniel Williams, May 6, 2008, Bloomberg News)

Lebanon has its own battle for hearts and minds, and it's being played out in slick promotions reminiscent of the ones that sell energy drinks and MP3 players.

"The dominant style is American," says Zeina Maasri, a graphic-design professor at the American University of Beirut. "It's a kind of communication you can't escape. They sell politics as a commodity."

The May 25 billboards planned for this year are bright yellow and feature silhouettes of soldiers and civilians along with the slogan "Sun, light, wind and freedom," from the words of a popular Lebanese song. They will be coordinated with TV spots on Hezbollah's channel, Al Manar.

"We are trying to appeal to all Lebanese," says a Hezbollah architect-turned-adman who declined to give his name for publication. "We are not ashamed to confess that our ads are somewhat influenced by America."

Heck, the very notion that they should determine how they govern themselves is American

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2008 9:09 AM
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