The Economist’s latest campaign reacts to trying times

The billboard campaign harks back to AMV BBDO’s famous red and white ads for the publication, serving to remind its audience that good journalism is more important than ever

As far as classic ads go, it’s tough to beat David Abbott’s 1988 poster campaign that effectively launched The Economist brand as we know it today in just nine words: “I never read The Economist” – Management trainee. Aged 42.

Since then, the simple but effective red and white graphic has become a regular feature of the publication’s advertising, championing both the quality of its reporting and the intellect of its readership.

AMV BBDO decided to return to the tradition in its latest billboard campaign for the publication, but with an added topical twist.

Each billboard in the series acts as a clever nod to the turbulent times we are living in, whether it be the echo chamber mentality that has played such a big part in social media and politics over the last few years, or the questions around data and privacy that come with the rise of the likes of Siri and Alexa.

The campaign also comes at a time when an increasing number of mainstream news publications are seeking to remind their readers of the value of good journalism, from The New York Times’ ongoing series of truth-focused ads, to the Guardian’s recent Hope is Power campaign.

Agency: AMV BBDO
Creative Directors:Nicholas Hulley and Nadja Lossgott
Creatives: Augustine Cerf and Lauren Peters, Etyan Smith and Tim Van Der Mee, Andy Vasey, Tim Riley