Controversial Israeli campaign wins UN award

Israeli advertising agency which sought creative solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict wins UN commendation

For the first time in history, the United Nations has granted an Israeli firm a gold medal for its efforts in seeking an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The winner is Baumann Ber Rivnay (BBR Saatchi & Saatchi), an Israeli advertising company whose campaign, Blood Relations, offers a creative solution to the decades-long rift. The premise? Getting the two populations to share blood, instead of spilling it.

Developed in collaboration with the Peres Center for Peace and the Parents Circle – Families Forum, the campaign brought bereaved Israelis and Palestinians together for a blood drive.

The donated units from the Israelis then went to Palestinian patients, and vice versa. The project raised a simple question: Could you hurt someone with your blood running through their veins?

The project inspired similar blood drives that were held by Israeli and Muslim communities worldwide.

“Winning the award is a great honor for the firm and the state,” said Baumann Ber Rivnay CEO Yossi Lubaton. “In a time when we feel Israel’s isolation in the world and the UN, winning a prize doled out by the UN makes us proud.

“We wanted to raise awareness for the fact that beyond any political conflict, no matter how difficult and drawn-out, the people who live here are tired of bloodshed and violence. We are pleased over the recognition that the project is getting across the globe.”