Voters go bananas over poll posters

BOSNIA ELECTIONS
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The Independent Online
"You have the choice," say the posters. Or, to be more precise: "Choose the biggest." But Bosnia's 3 million voters might be forgiven a sceptical smile at the campaign urging them to vote on 14 September, mounted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is overseeing the polls.

There are six posters - all representing fruit or vegetables in short supply during the recent civil war: apples, tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, oranges and peppers. "Izaberite najbolje" - "choose the biggest", they proclaim. Unfortunately, each poster has only one type of fruit or vegetable, laid out in serried ranks. The voters of Bosnia, many of whom believe there is little choice between the candidates, may have their suspicions confirmed. And remember Mrs Thatcher's remark about her political colleagues when asked: "What about the vegetables, ma'am?" "They'll choose for themselves."

The municipal elections, the most problematic, have been cancelled, but the other five, higher-level elections are going ahead. Now the 1,200 OSCE supervisors have arrived, a full-scale campaign to plaster the country with fruit and vegetables is under way. Naturally the posters have become prized possessions, especially among students and the peace implementation force. "The potato one's pretty rare," said one I-For soldier in Bihac, where the fruit-and-veg offensive began.

There are subtle differences. On the apple poster, there is one slightly rotten apple; the bananas might be thought to resemble the Muslim crescent. The potatoes would definitely not make supermarket grade.

Surely it would have been more apt to have different fruits and vegetables intermingled on each poster.

All questions should be addressed to the advertising agency responsible. And no, it's not, as one of the I-For soldiers suggested, that well known Bosnian agency - Sacic and Sacic.

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