Times are tough for print publications these days, and it would be easy for them to simply choose to play it safe and hope that the current trend slows down. With this in mind, I was delighted to see that The Economist – or AMV BBDO, to be fair – has dared to take a risk and engage with its potential audience by asking them to take a stand.
“Drugs should not be legalised,” says one poster and lists the reasons why. Other posters highlight the issues around trading human organs and prisoners’ voting rights, while one about the legalisation of prostitution puts pros and cons against each other. “Where do you stand?” goes the strapline.
It’s refreshing to see a publication that could easily fall into the conservative, dry bracket become thought-provoking, open-minded, and bold. Publisher Yvonne Ossman told The Guardian that “a significant pool of potential readers” has been identified, and I think she’s on to something. I’m one of them.
Are you passionate, forward-thinking, and interested in the great debates? Do you want to read to-the-point, considered articles to keep a finger on the pulse? Then maybe you should read The Economist. And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear myself say.
(A tiny part of me is of course raging that AMV BBDO managed to write down three pros and three cons in regards to the legalisation of prostitution without even mentioning gender and the objectification of women. I know the lists were not exhaustive, and I know provocation was part of the brief, but still. Come on. Next time, Ossman, think about it; know your pool of potential readers.)