Friday, October 05, 2007


darfur, BART, and innovative advertising

for those of you who don't pass through the montgomery BART station two times every day, this month's whole-station ad campaign has been done by

a forwarded message about and link to the petition, which you're welcome to add your name to, is near the bottom of this email.

but first a couple thoughts/observations...

- i think it's RAD that a non-profit was able to do a whole-station campaign. (i looked through the website--the org is a 501(c)3 coalition of religious groups and humanitarian groups. see here for list: whole-station campaigns are ridiculously engaging, and i love love love that all these nice thoughtful liberal sF workers are getting exposed to anti-genocide ads twice a day :)

- it's particularly impressive (and/or startling, ridiculous, amazing) that such a big expensive campaign was done when the campaign, for all its radness, is maybe not all that useful in terms of concrete results. all the ads do is ask for for people to think about their investments. 'is your mutual fund funding genocide?', 'what is your college fund funding?', 'are you invested in genocide?' and then they put the website at the bottom of the ad. when you go to the website there's a petition to sign that will be sent to 5 big investment firms; they don't provide any other suggestions for action in terms of divesting. i feel like with a whole BART station to use for ads, they maybe could've put up some more information about darfur or about the group's goals. or at least mentioned which 5 firms they're targetting. or...*something* more than just the taglines.

- while looking for info about whole-station advertising, i found a neat sfgate article from january 2006 about some anti-abortion ads that BART ran ( the article discusses first amendment stuff, yadda yadda, but also mentions a price of $43k for a certain amount of advertising, and notes that Viacom Outdoors runs BART's advertising (or did at that time). the BART website itself just lists contact info for a person to talk to about ads--no price schedule or further info.

anyways. neat local things connected to big interational things.

and the petition...

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Divest for Darfur
Have you heard of divestment? It's one of the key tactics that was successfully used to end apartheid in South Africa and it can help end the violence in Darfur, too.

To "divest" means to withdraw investments from companies that are supporting the genocide in Darfur by doing business with the government of Sudan.

Join me in fighting the genocide by urging Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan Chase, Capital Group/American Funds, Fidelity, Vanguard, and other investment institutions to divest their holdings from any and all companies doing business with the government of Sudan.

Click the link below to sign the Divest for Darfur petition now and help cut off financial support for the government-sponsored violence in Darfur!

Diplomacy is crucial, but economic pressure may prove an even more powerful way to force Sudan to cooperate with international efforts to end the genocide.

Sudan has been very responsive to economic pressure in the past so we have reason to hope that they will pay heed to the divestment efforts.

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