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15 . 01 . 20

When you say nothing at all

Words by: Directory
Created by Impact BBDO The Blank Edition for Lebanese daily newspaper An-Nahar is just that – blank. And that’s exactly the point…
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The power of print at a glance

  • Print can be eloquent in its simplicity
  • Creative print advertising can drive discussion and millions of impressions online, increasing ROI
  • The customer spends time with print, so it makes a more profound impression than a flash-in-the-pan digital ad


Due to political infighting and gridlock, Lebanon had been without a government for over five months. The lack of a functioning government had stalled the country and pushed the economy to the brink of collapse.


The Lebanese people had grown tired of their politicians’ excuses, which filled the pages of every newspaper in the country.

An Nahar 3.jpg

To cut through the growing apathy, the idea was to do exactly what the politicians were doing; NOTHING AT ALL.

An-Nahar, a leading Arabic daily newspaper, printed an entirely blank edition to send shockwaves throughout the country. Eight empty pages to create public interest.

The paper’s editor-in-chief then called a press conference at which she called on the people of Lebanon to use the blank sheets to write the stories of the future they wanted and deserved.

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It was the #1 trending topic on Twitter. It was discussed in over 100 international publications, generating over 500,000,000+ media impressions worth $5 million in earned media. It was the best-selling edition of the newspaper of all time. And a government was formed.


Given our elected leaders are failing to deal with many of the issues their citizens face, brands are beginning to play an increasingly important part in social change.

The role of agencies is changing too, as the best of them become creative business partners with their clients, helping them identify new partnerships and new ways of communicating. Brands communicate in what they do as much as (or more than) what they say. Here’s a newspaper getting actively involved in the state of the nation, sneakily getting its competitors to cover the story they created, and being rewarded by its highest- ever sales.

What’s not to admire?

Produced by kind permission of Directory. For more on innovative advertising and communication ideas around the world, visit