# HIV HEROES

VANGARDIST

Exile in

San Marino

This had been a cunning move because

we figured that, should his Excellency

the Honorary Consul give us

his legal go-ahead after coming to

the conclusion we thought he would

come to, namely that the guys at Publicis

were a bunch of cowards, then if

the whole thing did for some reason

go tits up in the end, he would probably

feel so guilty about it that he’d

have to grant the VANGARDIST’s entire

editorial team exile in San Marino.

Unfortunately, such plans fell through

pretty quickly, because one week later

Raffaele arrived at the office with

bad news from San Marino. We were

informed that the whole thing was indeed

quite tricky, beginning with the

problem that different countries had

different laws, which would be an issue

insofar as the campaign was intended

to be launched internationally. A call

made to Jason in Geneva didn’t solve

this problem either, because all we

learned was that he was already familiar

with this legal opinion and that as a

result of it, the printing office commissioned

to do the job for the first campaign

attempt had refused to “infect”

their printing presses with the virus.

A campaign is born

Faced with these facts, we almost got

cold feet like everyone else before us

had, but then came salvation in the

form of a brilliant idea: The main argument

used in the legal opinion was

that the distribution of an ad appearing

in different print mass media would

be impossible to control. If, however,

the VANGARDIST as a magazine were

figured as the responsible body initiating

the campaign’s actions, it would

be able to print only a limited edition

of the magazine with ink that actually

contained blood and just use ordinary

ink on the rest, and that way we would

retain relative control over the distribution

of the blood mags. In addition,

we came up with the idea to cover the

“contaminated” issues in plastic wrap

to make people aware of what they

were about to purchase and make it

their active decision to unwrap and

touch the actual magazine. The act

of unwrapping it would thus become

a statement and send out the message

that, in order to read this issue,

you had to be brave. And with this, the

#HIVHEROES Campaign was born.

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