War And Peace In 80 Seconds

Creative staff don’t usually have to worry about work-related violence.

It is a concern, however, when an agency is hired by the British government’s Northern Ireland Office to do a series of PSAs promoting reconciliation in the troubled region.

Since 1987, McCann-Erickson Belfast has created ads denouncing sectarian violence there.

McCann Belfast chief executive David Lyle said the agency has never been threatened for producing the work, but kept a low profile nonetheless.

Prior to the now-broken 1995 cease-fire, Lyle said, ‘The atmosphere in Northern Ireland was very different. It wasn’t wise to trumpet that we did the work.’

Though some IRA bombings have occurred in England since then, Lyle said Northern Ireland is quieter, but the agency continues to produce work promoting peace.

The latest spot (shown here), an 80-second ad called ‘Time Bomb,’ juxtaposes children at play with sound bites about the lingering fighting.

‘It’s a simple idea dramatizing how sectarianism will destroy the future for all the children of Northern Ireland,’ Lyle said.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED