Friday, January 30, 2009

International Greek Organisations Enraged by Macedonia’s New Ad Campaign

Macedonia’s new advertising campaign shown on CNN enraged Greek organisations around the world.

Greek unions in the US, Australia, Canada, Europe and Africa protested against the advertisements’ perceived theft of cultural identity and its use of Greek symbols and archaeological finds, the Greek newspaper Naftemporiki newspaper reported today.

In a letter to Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, the international unions’ heads claimed that the new advertisement campaign which twisted historical truths entered the homes of millions of people worldwide.

The video clip promoting Macedonia as a tourist destination premiered on CNN and other international television stations on Christmas of 2008. Shot by renowned Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski, the clip cost the government 190,000 euro to make and “untold millions more for broadcasting between [December 2008] and April,” as blogger Christopher Deliso wrote.

The one-minute clip, consisting mostly of a series of stills of various landmarks around the country and archaeological artefacts, didn’t just enrage the Greek community around the world. Earlier, as Deliso wrote, the advertisement faced domestic criticisms as well – some regarding technical faults and others aimed at its content. Albanians, for example, complained that there was no image of a mosque in the video, a fact at odds with the Macedonia’s aim to attract more tourists from Turkey. According to another accusation, the clip bears an uncanny resemblance in theme to an earlier video created by the Republic of Georgia, to which Manchevski responded by saying he had not seen it.

The video can be downloaded here

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