BEIRUT, LEBANON — On the 2nd of February, Lebanon’s leading newspaper AnNahar did not print that day’s edition for the first time in its 88 years of publishing. Instead, the ink and paper intended for that day – named the Election Edition – were sent towards the printing of voting ballots for the 2022 Lebanese Election.
Lebanon is a country that has been pushed past the brink of collapse, with the currency losing 90% of its value – making the country’s inflation the highest in the world. As a result, necessities such as food, petrol, medicine and even ink and paper get scarcer every day. However, the upcoming 2022 National Elections offer a glimmer of hope, which the nation anticipates would provide some stability.
In an attempt to obstruct the election process, current government officials have complained that the shortages of material goods, such as paper and ink, might cancel the upcoming elections.
So, AnNahar, the voice of the Lebanese people, decided to eliminate the government’s excuses by taking the step to donate an entire day’s worth of paper and ink. When people went to collect their daily newspaper, instead of the printed edition they were greeted by an empty newsstand rack, and a message that directed them towards an online version of the paper. Here, they read about the cause behind the absence of the edition.
The campaign has been put together by IMPACT BBDO in Dubai and Beirut.
Nayla Tueni, Editor-in-Chief, said, “We’ve been hearing that there is not enough ink and paper to proceed with the elections for a while now. Well, that is no longer an issue. The resources we saved by not printing for one day provided a truckload of paper and ink to support the upcoming elections. There are no more excuses. The elections are happening, no matter what.
This act sparked support as people and companies offered as much as possible to ensure the elections would take place on time.”