Skip to main content

On 30 January, the ON THE SAME PAGE campaign of Frankfurter Buchmesse and Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association) received the Politikaward (Politics Award) for the category “Kampagne von Unternehmen und Verbänden” (“Campaign by companies and associations”). In its 16th consecutive year, the Politikaward 2018 from the magazine politik&kommunikation recognises the best political and social campaigns of the last year. The ON THE SAME PAGE campaign prevailed over six other competitors.

Member of the jury Joachim Koschnicke, Partner at Hering Schuppener Consulting, explained the decision: “ON THE SAME PAGE was launched as a Frankfurt-based campaign and became an international movement. For this, one can only congratulate the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the agency in charge of this campaign, Ballhaus West, and, as an interested ally, wish it great staying power.”

Frankfurter Buchmesse and Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels created the concept for ON THE SAME PAGE in 2018, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaign was implemented with support from the United Nations and Amnesty International and in close cooperation with ARTE, ZDF, and DER SPIEGEL. With ON THE SAME PAGE, the alliance succeeded in spurring a deep, substantive debate in the international media.

Mr Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the Department of Global Communications at the United Nations: “It is heartening to learn that the Politics Award in the category “Campaign by companies and associations” has been awarded to the campaign ON THE SAME PAGE, an initiative to mobilize booksellers and publishers worldwide to reinforce the values of the United Nations on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is particularly so as the fundamental values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights continue to be challenged in many parts of the world.”

At the awards ceremony in Berlin, Katja Böhne, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Frankfurter Buchmesse, said: “The ON THE SAME PAGE campaign managed to do what previously had seemed impossible: getting the international literary industry unanimously behind a global political message! With crystal-clear text and striking visuals, the ON THE SAME PAGE campaign showed that universal human rights are under threat and are in need of our protection in many parts of the world.”

“The campaign is in keeping with our industry’s innate aims to promote diversity, democracy and freedom of speech and to strengthen the self-determination of every individual”, explains Alexander Skipis, Managing Director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. “Human rights are the basis of every democratic society and of peaceful coexistence. The right to freedom of opinion and expression enshrined in article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights is fundamental to the book industry. Yet, around the world, we are seeing booksellers being imprisoned, publishers ousted and journalists expelled. In such cases, it is not merely appropriate for us to raise our voice, but it is our duty. In so doing, we are standing up for the rights of all people.”

“ON THE SAME PAGE is a ‘bookmark’ for those who refuse to resign themselves to looking away when human rights are at stake. We don’t have to share the same opinion or avoid conflict or diversity, but we should be able to refer to a few basic rules when it comes to coexisting in a fair and peaceful way – a campaign for the survival of this precious vision of peaceful and free coexistence”, said Wolfgang Bergmann, ARTE coordinator for ZDF.

ON THE SAME PAGE was developed and implemented by Ballhaus West | Agentur für Kampagnen with support from Barbarella Entertainment GmbH. Imran Ayata, Managing Director of Ballhaus West, said: “Everyone involved in this campaign – on the client’s side, amongst our campaign partners and in our team – worked on ON THE SAME PAGE with great passion. It is precisely this commitment that you can feel in the campaign. That’s what made the difference.”

The campaign was launched in September 2018 and involved the entire media sector. Moderators Ingo Zamperoni, Maybrit Illner, and Dunja Hayali as well as authors and celebrities Conchita, Benedict Wells, Ranga Yogeshwar and Ina Hartwig supported the campaign through public statements. A series of prominent authors and celebrities from the international culture sector, including Arnon Grunberg, Namita Gokhale, Ulrike Guérot, Axel Honneth, Wladimir Kaminer, Vincent Klink, Olga Martinova, Denis Scheck and many others, offered reading recommendations on the topic of human rights, which can be seen at in a new window). Booksellers created book tables with selected titles, and publishers organised human-rights-related readings and events.

At the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018, numerous events on the topic were held in the new Frankfurt Pavilion.

All information regarding the ON THE SAME PAGE campaign is available here: in a new window)