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Press release

TV campaign for Expo.02 - Swisscom: the silence has been broken

25 April 2002

"If you could speak to the Swiss people for one minute, what would your message be?" This is the question Swisscom asked in a TV and advertising campaign. Over 5000 people had replied by the end of January. The 14 most powerful messages will be broadcast uncensored to the nation on TV between 29 April and 12 May after the main edition of the news.

Erika E. (49), an artist, said, "The most damaging product of evolution is mankind. I am in favour of putting an immediate stop to population growth. I cannot understand these women who feel they have to reproduce." Nicolas B. (26), a pastor, said, "God has a tremendous sense of humour, he loves to communicate and is crazy about the people he has created." J. E. (29), nurse, "I am a survivor. Not of a war but of sexual abuse. Don't ignore what goes on in day-to-day life."

These are three of more than 5,000 messages received by Swisscom as part of its unconventional "Break the Silence" Expo.02 campaign. The participants, school classes, students, police officers, housewives, judges, artists, marketing professionals, bakers and businessmen, are aged between 4 and 101. They expressed their opinions freely on a wide range of issues: politics, September 11, Switzerland, their visions and problems, the environment and injustice.

Communication is Swisscom's core business. Its "break the silence" campaign aims to promote bold and open communication. This is why Swisscom is providing the Swiss people with a communication platform which allows 14 people to express their opinions freely. The theme of its Expo .02 exhibition "Empire of Silence" pavilion on the Biel arteplage has been extended to a discussion topic for people who will not be visiting the event. The 14 messages also mark a countdown to the opening of Expo.02. Swisscom does not take a position on the opinions expressed in the 14 broadcasts, it simply provides the platform for communication.

By the end of March some 50 people with messages had been filmed by documentary filmmaker Paul Riniker. A jury, which included the artistic director of Expo.02 Martin Heller, then selected the 14 most powerful messages to be shown on TV. These somewhat controversial broadcasts reflect various aspects of social reality in Switzerland. They will be shown after the main edition of the news on SF 1 and SF 2 (at 19.45), TSR (at 19.55) and TSI (at 20.25) and repeated later in the evening between 29 April and 12 May 2002.

As well as being an exhibition partner, Swisscom is also an infrastructure partner with responsibility for telecommunications at all arteplages. As an "official partner" Swisscom is one of the national exhibition's main sponsors.

Berne, 25 April 2002


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern