Saatchi-Red Cross alliance brings $50m to Turkish earthquake victims

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ISTANBUL--An international ad campaign via Saatchi & Saatchi, Istanbul, has delivered a record $58.2 million in aid to victims of Turkey's earthquake of August 17 last year.

The Red Cross Federation charity signed off a Turkish TV and print effort in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy -- described as one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th Century -- but S&S Istanbul called on the resources of its offices in 27 other countries and created an international campaign. The initiative marked the first time the Red Cross had worked with the same agency on a single project across multiple countries, according to S&S.

S&S' media planning and buying arm, Zenith Media, Istanbul, arranged for free publication and airing of the campaign in a number of European countries including Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Spain as well as in Canada.

The ad recreated the exact moment of the earthquake as if it were happening again, according to a S&S executive close to the business.

Unofficial figures estimate the earthquake claimed close to 50,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless in the cities of Izmit, Adapazari and Golcuk in the Northwest of the country, just a few hundred kilometers from Istanbul.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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