TBWA Welcomes Trump and Putin to Finland With Hundreds of Ads About Press Freedom

Billboards from the airport to the summit promote the largest newspaper in the Nordics

When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin arrived in Helsinki, Finland, today, they were greeted by more than 300 outdoor posters on the route from the airport to the summit—all emphasizing the importance of freedom of the press, which both world leaders have denigrated. 

Created by TBWA\Helsinki for Helsingin Sanomat, the stunning takeover—in English and Russian—features an overarching copy line, "Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press." Other executions pull headlines from the Helsingin Sanomat paper, including these: 

The headlines, all capturing the two men's rocky relations with the media, were all published between 2000 and 2018.

"This is a statement on behalf of critical and high-quality journalism," says Kaius Niemi, senior editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat. "The media shouldn't be the lap dog of any president or regime. We want to show our support to those colleagues who have to fight in ever-toughening circumstances on a daily basis, both in the U.S. and Russia. Our goal is to raise the topic of the freedom of the press around the world." 

Russia ranks 148th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. The U.S. ranks 45th, better than Russia but hardly exemplary. 

"Helsingin Sanomat is set to protect the purity of journalistic media and press freedom, to fight biased and falsified information with facts and legitimate sources," says TBWA\Helsinki chief creative officer Jyrki Poutanen. "This particular event gave them an opportunity to execute that agenda on a greater level."

Outdoor companies Clear Channel and JCDecaux also partnered on the campaign.

Swipe/click through more of the posters below:

Client: Helsingin Sanomat
Agency: TBWA\Helsinki
Campaign: The Land of Free Press

Helsingin Sanomat
Design Director: Alo Valtere
Marketing Director: Veera Siivonen
Photographer: Kristian Autio

Chief Creative Officer: Jyrki Poutanen
Creative Director: Erno Reinikainen
Copywriters: Lauri Gran, Tuomas Perälä, Anni Lindgren
Creative Content Strategist: Aki Toivonen
Account Director: Noora Murremäki
Project Manager: Mira Sallanko
Production AD: Harry Huttunen
Graphic Designer: Maria Dunaeva
Data Analyst: Esa Roponen
Communications Specialists: Leni Vehkaluoto, Sofia Kaura-Aho, Iman Chellaf
Campaign Analyst: Jesse Korhonen
Producer: Jari Lähteinen
DOP: Petri Siikanen
Editor: Jerry Strengell

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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