a link to this campaign was forwarded to us by disturbed readers:

source: unicef

German Unicef-Campaign in 2007

This is an actual ad-campaign by UNICEF Germany!

This campaign is “blackfacing” white children with mud to pose as “uneducated africans”.

The headline translates “This Ad-campaign developped pro bono by the agency Jung von Matt/Alster shows four german kids who appeal for solidarity with their contemporaries in Afrika”

The first kid says:

“I’m waiting for my last day in school, the children in africa still for their first one.”

second kid:

“in africa, many kids would be glad to worry about school”

third kid:

“in africa, kids don’t come to school late, but not at all” (!)

fourth kid:

“some teachers suck. no teachers sucks even more.”

Our opinion: Besides claiming that every single person in “Africa” isn’t educated, and doing so in an extremely patronising way, it is also disturbing that this organisation thinks blackfacing kids with mud (!) equals “relating to african children”. Also, the kids’ statements ignore the existance of millions of african academics and regular people and one again reduces a whole continent to a village of muddy uneducated uncivilized people who need to be educated (probably by any random westerner). This a really sad regression.
Bottom lines of this campaign are: Black = mud = African = uneducated. White = educated. We feel this campaign might do just as much harm as it does any good. You don’t collect money for helping people by humiliating and trivilaizing them first.

Unfortunatley, if it was clear to the average German that this is wrong, UNICEF and the advertising agency wouldn’t come out with such a campaign.

Please write your opinion and help us make clear and explain why it is wrong to use “blackface with mud”, and write to UNICEF at publicrelations@unicef.de as well as the advertising agency at info@jvm.de with a copy to our info@derbraunemob.de what you feel about this campaign and why. Please include a line that you”re going to publish your mail and the response.

by the way, the slogan of the advertising agency who came up with this, reads
“we communicate on eye-level”.