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U.N., ad firms join to brand climate change

  • Story Highlights
  • U.N. launches climate change awareness campaign ahead of Copenhagen summit
  • U.N. enlists broad coalition of communications companies across media platforms
  • Ban Ki-moon: "We need a global movement that mobilizes real change"
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(CNN) -- To guard against public indifference to climate change the United Nations has enlisted a coalition of the world's leading advertising agencies.

The world in their hands: New campaign aims to empower public.

The world in their hands: New campaign aims to empower public.

Leading up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen in December, the global "Hopenhagen" campaign has been unveiled. The initiative is aiming to generate active interest and persuade the public into believing they have a say in the negotiations between world leaders that will ratify a new global climate treaty.

"Climate change is one of the epic challenges facing this and future generations. World leaders will come together for the Copenhagen climate change conference in December, and every citizen of the world has a stake in the outcome. It is time to seal a deal. We need a global movement that mobilizes real change," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a press statement.

"It is about global action for a global climate treaty and a better future for humankind."

The campaign is a collaboration between a number of the world's largest communications companies. The strategy and creative concept for the Hopenhagen idea came from WPP's Ogilvy & Mather team; digital framework and direction were developed by MDC Partners' Colle+McVoy; and the global PR and messaging plans are spearheaded by Omnicom Group's Ketchum.

Michael Lee, executive director of the International Advertising Association called the coalition of media companies involved "unprecedented," adding that it was "testament to the significance the industry places on the need for action to address climate change."

According to the campaign brief, the aim is to change from the idea that we are just "coping" with global climate challenges to "hoping" and ultimately acting to combat the perils of climate change.

The Hopenhagen Web site will be the center of an open source campaign where the public can send messages to the delegates of the UN summit meeting as well as raise awareness and debate issues.

While the Web site will be developed as the months go by, the IAA also hopes that businesses, governments and NGOs engage in the campaign as well to create a broad global community with shared goals.

Unveiled at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this week, the first elements of the campaign can be seen at New York's JFK International, LA International and London Heathrow airports.

From September a more "aggressive" consumer launch of the campaign will commence until the conference begins on December 7.

What do you think? Does climate change need to be branded to keep us engaged? Are we in danger of "climate change" fatigue? Have your say in the Sound Off box below.

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