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Marketing Campaign Shows IS's 'Headless West'

Posters decapitate Statue of Liberty, Mona Lisa, and other symbols to show what could happen if Islamists win.
By Shimon Cohen
First Publish: 8/26/2014, 10:36 AM

Headless Mona Lisa
Headless Mona Lisa
Gil Samsonov

Islamic State (IS; formerly known as ISIS) has made headlines in the US and Middle East recently, after threatening the Western world and taking large swaths of land in Iraq.

However, the threat is much closer to Europe, strategists argue - and one campaign seeks to "wake Europe" to the major threat on its shores.

A campaign has been launched showing national and international monuments without their heads, as a symbolic take on the IS trademark for executions.

On Tuesday, Arutz Sheva spoke to Israeli publicist Gil Samsonov, who is behind the entire campaign, to gain insight on the marketing strategy.

Samsonov notes at the outset that the current campaign is a continuation of a campaign that began last month, in which the monuments were drawn with Iron Dome defense systems and missiles.

This was a subdued campaign, with no blood, but the message shines through," he said. "The effect is very strong."

Anti-IS poster Gil Samsonov

"I'm starting to see the beginning of understanding [from this] what we experience here," he added, noting that many Europeans have come out of the woodwork as IS supporters and that awareness of the phenomenon has trickled down to the European public.

Samsonov stated that he finds no conflict between the world of advertising and his pride in being Israeli and supporting the IDF.

"I am proud to be an Israeli," he said. "We were recruited [to help Israel] from the start." He noted that his agency is also distributing infographics on Gaza and Israel in London and Paris. 

The public has also mobilized behind the current campaign, he said.

"I found over the last few days that people are willing to contribute," he noted. 

Samsonov was asked later about what some have called the "weak propaganda campaign" of the IDF and Israel over the past several weeks, as the Israeli government continues to waffle back and forth over a truce agreement, despite rockets continuing to pelt civilians.

He acknowledged that there is indeed such helplessness and even Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to counter this by linking IS with Hamas, though the system itself does not know how to deal with this subject, in his words.

He added that he tells himself to act positively and maintain the current marketing campaign, despite the weakness of the political system. 

Meanwhile, he concluded, the current campaign is moving along well.

"It's amazing to see that we do not get more negative reactions," he stated.