Shawn Paul Wood
Mar 18, 2022

Reporters Without Borders campaign uses national lottery numbers to hack press censorship rules

Campaign from DDB Germany targets countries like Russia, Turkey, and Brazil, where censorship of the press is strong.

In the United States, journalists have First Amendment rights to speak with an unfettered voice. 

But that’s not necessarily true for journalists covering the rest of the world. In places such as China, Brazil and Russia, the truth is often silenced in favour of propaganda. 

In honour of World Day Against Cyber Censorship on March 12, DDB Germany teamed up with Reporters Without Borders, a France-based non-profit supporting the free press, to communicate with journalists in state-managed media countries in a covert and novel way. 

The campaign, called The Truth Wins, enables reporters to get their uncensored stories out to the public using state-owned lottery numbers. Each lottery number corresponds to an independent journalist’s Twitter account, allowing users who search the publicly available numbers on the platform to find verifiable, independent facts and information. People can type the most current lottery numbers into the Twitter search bar to surface “The Truth Wins” accounts. 

The campaign is specifically targeting countries like Russia, Turkey, and Brazil, where censorship of the press is strong. 

“If there is no free media, there is no freedom,” Tobias Natterer, DDB Germany senior copywriter, told Campaign US. “What’s left is propaganda.”

'The Truth Wins’ message against press censorship is internationally relevant. But because the idea of misinformation and censorship can be abstract to the average person, creating an emotional message around the issue was important, Natterer said. 

“Press freedom is an abstract, and often, political topic,” he said. “I think creativity can help highlight its importance and create awareness for the work of RSF.” 

Campaign US

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