Leo and Saleh tackle corruption

Leo Burnett Beirut has launched a video campaign for the anti-corruption nongovernment organisation Sakker el Dekkene featuring Lebanese independent music star Tania Saleh.

The two-and-a-half minute clip, which has been viewed more than 170,000 times on Facebook, features Saleh singing her self-penned number, also called ‘Sakker el Dekkene’. It is interspersed with footage of recent antigovernment protests.

Formed last year, the NGO collects data on corruption across Lebanon’s public administration. Saleh’s lyrics call on people to ‘Stand up. And shut down the shop (of corruption)’, by reporting instances to the organisation.

“There is corruption on every corner in Lebanon,” said Saleh. “The lyrics are calling for people to have an attitude of criticism; people should have the right to complain and to ask for their rights.”

She added: “Two months ago the response would have been different. But, the garbage issues have created this new awareness so this [song] has come at the right time.”

Since July, thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest against the government’s failure to dispose accumulated waste. They have become known as the ‘You Stink’ protests thanks to a Twitter hashtag that soon went viral.

Nada Abisaleh, managing director of Leo Burnett Beirut said: “Corruption in Lebanon is everywhere and as a result, the fight against it seemed hopeless. But the truth is, corruption acts exactly like a private business: the more you buy from it, the more it grows. And so we wanted corruption to go bankrupt. This was our starting point with the client who named the NGO ‘Sakker el Dekkene’ after our campaign.

“Recently, we decided to widen the scope of our message to engage with Lebanese people at large. Hence the idea to develop a video clip with Tania Saleh, a true artist and independent singer, far from the mainstream music, yet popular enough to appeal to a wider public.”

Leo Burnett Beirut won gold in media for its ‘Lebanon4Sale’ campaign for Sakker el Dekkene at this year’s Cannes Lions festival.