This Nut Brand Bought the Bluntest Front-Page Ad Reacting to Trump’s Inauguration

Lebanese agency explains the decision to publish it

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Brands that have weighed in on Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the U.S. president have mostly tiptoed around the issue with cryptic or broad messaging. But not Al Rifai, a Lebanese nut brand, whose front page ad on Saturday in The Daily Star newspaper is nothing if not frank.

“The world has gone nuts,” says the headline, above a product shot and below the paper’s coverage of Trump’s big day—and the conflicting reactions to it.

The agency behind the ad, République in Beirut, tells AdFreak that a photo of the front page has gone viral in the Middle East, with more than 100,000 shares through Saturday afternoon. Still, agency founder Fadi Mroue tells us it wasn’t an easy decision to run the ad.

“Al Rifai is a brand that is generally not afraid to take risks, but were cautious to address something as political as this,” he says. “They went ahead with it because it they felt this was the general sentiment in the region.”

Mroue says the biggest hurdle was getting the newspaper to run it. “But as print advertising is struggling in the region, this was our way of saying it’s not dead just yet,” he says.

Sharing the ad, Mroue says, is a way for people in Lebanon to communicate how they feel about a Trump presidency. “The shares are not only coming from the general public but by politicians and reporters as well,” he adds.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.