A campaign to boost sales of The Zimbabwean, a newspaper that attacked Robert Mugabe's regime by using the troubled country's almost worthless bank notes to make billboard adverts, has won the top award in the outdoor
category at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, reports Biz Community.

The campaign to promote sales of the newspaper, which is published in the UK and South Africa, used the Zimbabwean currency as an advertising medium on posters and billboards to raise awareness of the dire state of the country under Mugabe.

Straplines used in the poster campaign included "Thanks to Mugabe this money is wallpaper", "Z$250,000,000 cannot buy the paper to print this poster on", "It's cheaper to print this on money than on paper", and "Fight the regime that has crippled a country".

The ads, by South African agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris/Johannesburg, won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix award for outdoor advertising. The Zimbabwean campaign also won a gold lion in the media category.

The agency said one of the most "eloquent symbols" of the state the country is in, with rampant inflation, was to use the Zimbabwean currency.

The Zimbabwean faces a 55% "luxury import" tax to get copies into Zimbabwe, making it unaffordable to most locals.

The Zimbabwean newspaper, which carries the slogan 'A Voice for the Voiceless', targets Zimbabweans living in the UK and the 2
million living in Southern Africa, mainly South Africa and Botswana.

Read more about the Cannes Advertising Awards on Biz Community and see a YouTube video of the campaign on the homepage of The Zimbabwean's website.