Peace Productions: Radio Ads for Disarmament

By Doug Mohr

On October 24 a two-week campaign will start to promote disarmament by radio ads across Canada. This will be only the first of an ongoing project by Peace Productions to use radio and TV to end Canada's involvement in the arms race.

Peace Productions is a new organization comprising over 50 people, many of whom (such as David Chamberlain, who produced The Final Chapter, and Barrie Zwicker) are influential in the media.

The impetus for the formation of Peace Productions was research conducted at the University of Waterloo exploring why people become active workers for disarmament. Although most Canadians hold the same beliefs as peace activists (e.g. want a freeze, want Canada to become a nuclear weapon free zone, etc.) they differ from activists in two important ways. First, Canadians do not know about the links between the arms race and development, nor the arms race and the economy. Moreover, they feel completely helpless to do anything about the arms race. Peace Productions was formed to educate and empower the public.

The educational objective is being tackled by making radio ads available to peace groups across the country for airing on their local stations this fall. Peace Productions has designed five ads that focus on disarmament and development; disarmament and the economy; Star Wars; nuclear weapon free zones; and ways in which individuals can promote disarmament. Each ad will carry a toll free number which an individual anywhere in Canada can call to obtain further educational materials.

The ads will encourage people to call the number to find out how they can get active. Those who call will be given information about local peace groups, which may lead to thousands of new people becoming active.

Also, Peace Productions is producing a poster showing the same toll free number. A national art competition is underway to find a suitable design. By placing these posters throughout the community, the impact of the radio ads will be enhanced even further. All materials will be produced in both French and English. Later, Peace Production ads will encourage Canadians to vote for politicians who would eliminate Canadian participation in the arms race.

Peace groups across the country are now being asked to participate in the fall campaign by raising money to air the ads locally. Fortunately, radio ads are inexpensive. For example, in Kitchener-Waterloo (with a population of 260,000) for just over $1000 a radio ad can be aired 60 times!

The number of peace groups interested in airing the ads is steadily growing and it is likely that this fall, the majority of homes in Canada will be reached.

Local groups independently decide what ads to air. Marketing specialists will advise local groups on how frequently to air the ads, and when to air them.

The toll free number can be called from anywhere in Canada. Peace Productions will employ a bilingual staff to answer the calls. They will answer questions about peace information and mail the callers materials on the issues that are designed to empower them. Included will be information on the local group(s) that had placed the radio ads.

The callers may be asked if they want to donate to the Canadian peace movement. Half of the donations received will be returned to the local group(s) that placed the ad. Also, a list of the callers will be mailed to the peace group(s) who placed the ad.

Peace group participation involves raising money for the ads and posters. Participating groups are being asked to air the ads 5 times a day, for 14 days, beginning on October 24. The cost of doing this depends on the size of the listening audience for the station, and ranges between $1050 and $4200--figures based respectively on populations of 60,000 and 2,500,000. Check with your local station for the exact cost of airing a 30-second ad 70 times. The ads will be available to groups at cost ($11.00 per ad) plus postage.

Please place the posters in the community one week prior to the airings. The 18-inch by 24-inch full-color posters are available at cost ($1.00 per poster) plus postage.

This campaign will increase, in the eyes of the public and policy-makers, the credibility of the peace movement. It will serve notice to politicians that the movement is going to affect public opinion. It will bring hope to millions of Canadians that we can end the arms race.

Contact Peace Productions at P.O. Box 43, 70 King Street North, Waterloo, Ont. N2J 3Z5. Phone 519/749-1681.

Peace Magazine Jun-Jul 1986

Peace Magazine Jun-Jul 1986, page 12. Some rights reserved.

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