Life Is Easier if You Don’t Speak Up

Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, the largest-selling newspaper in Denmark, is promoting debate over public issues with a print advertising campaign featuring Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Gandhi. Each print advertisement poses the question, “What would have happened if these people had chosen the easiest option? Could Mandela have become a surfie rather than political activist and national leader? What would have happened if the Dalai Lama had focused on skiing rather than world peace? And if Gandhi had moved to Australia for beer and barbecue? “Life Is Easier if You Don’t Speak Up”.

This is the same newspaper that ran the Mohammed cartoons in 2005. It remains to be seen if the advertisements themselves raise the level of public debate…

Nelson Mandela as surfer in Jyllands Posten print advertisement

“Life Is Easier if You Don’t Speak Up”

The Dalai Lama skiing in Jyllands Posten print advertisement

Gandhi with beer and barbecue in Jyllands Posten print advertisement


The JP campaign was developed at Uncle Grey, Aarhus, Denmark, by creative director Per Pedersen, art director Jesper Hansen, and copywriter Michael Paterson.

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  • I agree that one has to speak up to make a difference. However, it is vital to understand your target audience before speaking to or about them in order to connect with them to induce a positive change. And speaking up for a good cause and making fun are two different issues. It is highly irresponsible to write and caricature in mass media with out considering the pros and cons and possible fallout, specially in current times, when the international media is so intertwine and connected.

    I believe it was a blunder then to make cartoons of Prophets who are kept in highest regards by Muslims and the above ads are a blunder now with a risk of encouraging people to do repeat the same.

  • I wrote my views on my blog and googling for more info on the ad, led me here, Have linked up to you…hope you don’t mind .

  • It’s wise to not comment on this ad. It is not disrespecting the three of them.