Clare Chapman
Phone: + 43 - 1- 811 40 - 319
Tue, 28.01.2003
pte20030128055 Media/Communications, Politics/Law
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MTV Germany goes anti-war
Stars make statements during "War is Not the Answer" campaign

Munich (pte055/28.01.2003/11:53) - MTV Germany has decided to back anti-war feelings in Germany by running a series of anti-war comments from top stars such as Moby, Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The campaign, which began on Thursday under the slogan "War Is Not The Answer", gives top music acts the opportunity to speak out against the Iraq war in short clips shown between programmes.

Director of programming at MTV Germany Elmar Giglinger said he was aiming with the campaign to "strongly anchor the importance of the value of peace in MTV's programmes, particularly in the current situation". He also said MTV wanted to create a discussion which clearly showed viewers that "a war in Iraq affects us in Germany too".

The campaign comes with a growing anti-war sentiment in Germany and after German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has committed himself to vote against a war in the UN Security Council. However Verena Adami, head of press at MTV Germany, said the MTV campaign had nothing to do with Chancellor Schroeder's latest statements, adding that the channel believed the war was "something that concerns everyone".

Ms Adami added: "This is a German initiative. MTV channels in other countries are independent operations and decide their own programming.

"We decided to go ahead and do this here because we wanted to create a platform for discussion about the Iraq war. We believe the war is something that is concerning a lot of people in Germany at the moment and we thought this was something we could do for peace."

Ms Adami added: "We ask the stars for a special statement on whether they think war is the answer when we are interviewing them. We then take the clip out of the interview and show this in short slots between programmes. We show the MTV logo first, then the statement from the star and then flash the "War Is Not The Answer" slogan up on the screen.

She said that although they were expecting most stars to say that war is not the answer they would also show any pro-war comments that were made if they got any.

"So far we have asked Moby, Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers what they think and they all said they were against the war. But we are also going to be completely honest with our viewers and show clips of stars saying they are for the war if they are," she said.

Ms Adami said the channel had given the "War Is Not The Answer" campaign an English title because a lot of stars had been photographed recently wearing T-shirts with this slogan on the front and so it was instantly recognisable to everyone all over the world.

"MTV is an international programme and when we speak to stars from various countries about this they all know what we are talking about," she said.

The television channel has also set up a discussion forum on its web site as part of the campaign to also give music fans the opportunity to air their opinions about the war at

Ms Adami said: "Viewers can write in their comments and opinions and can discuss the pros and cons of the war on our web site. We want to know what people, and young people in particular, are thinking about the prospect of war

"MTV has a lot of young viewers and they have many fears about what will happen. We want to be a contact point for them because we have a good connection with the young people of Germany. We think it is important for them to have a forum for discussion."

She also said the station was planning to have a 'MTV Select' special based solely on the subject of war. "We want people to ring in and give their opinion and we plan to have star guests discussing the matter."

Ms Adami said the campaign did not cost the TV channel anything except the extra production costs because the clips were only shown on MTV Germany and not on any other channel. She added: "We also use our own in-house department, which does all the trailers for the channel.

"At the moment only MTV Germany is involved in this, although we do ask MTV in other countries to ask stars for their views on the war when they interview them. We don't have any media partners at the moment, although who knows what will happen - perhaps we will have soon. But we don't know how long this will run for because it has only just started and we have to see what sort of a response we get." (newsfox-special Iraq)

Submitter: pressetext.austria
Contact: Clare Chapman
Phone: + 43 - 1- 811 40 - 319