We received the following short answer to our list of demands for fair UNICEF-advertising:
Dear Ms Sow, Mr Ntivyihabwa and Ms Eckermann,
Many thanks for your email dated 27.08.2007.
We are aware that the advertisments for the ‘Schools for Africa’
campaign, which were published in several newspapers at no cost, were
met with criticism. We responded quickly and unequivocally.
The advertisements were immediately removed from our internet site, we
will not be using them again and we apologised.
You can be certain that we have taken the criticisms seriously and we
are bearing them in mind for our current and future information
The German commitee for UNICEF champions solidarity with Africa in all
aspects of its work and the rights of children all over the world.
our answer from September 17, 2007:
Dear Rudi Tarneden,
We were pleased to note that UNICEF discontinued the ‘Schools for
Africa’ campaign. You write that you have taken our criticism
seriously and will take our comments into consideration in your future
campaigns. However, our impression is that your primary aim is to
avoid a critical and open examination of the issues raised.
A faux pax with racist undertones that took place in the media should
be swept under the carpet as discretely as possible. There is no
mention of the reaction your campaign received on your website, no
discussion about why the campaign was withdrawn, and what learning
UNICEF Germany has gained from the whole exercise. A self-critical
and publically led discourse would have lent credibility and substance
to the pledges of “solidarity with Africa” which UNICEF makes. As it
is, the bitter aftertaste of an ill-advised UNICEF advertising
campaign remains, now joined by the aftertaste of the results of
incompetent crisis management. Pity!
Vorstand der braune mob e.V.
media-watch – schwarze deutsche in medien und öffentlichkeit