Finnish newspaper welcomes Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to ‘Land of Free Press’

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin arrived in Helsinki for their summit, they were greeted by billboards, posters and transport shelter signs touting Finland as the ‘land of free press.’

TBWA\Helsinki and Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in the Nordics, greeted presidents Putin and Trump with a reminder of press freedom during their summit in Helsinki, since both leaders are notoriously trying to control the media in their respective countries.

The timely outdoor campaign had an extremely short production time, as the summit – undeniably the news event of the day – wasn’t announced until three weeks previous. 280-plus billboards were created and have been displayed in English and Russian throughout Helsinki, on the presidents' travel routes to the summit from the airport.

An accompanying video describes the campaign.

The paper’s president, Kaius Niemi, reiterated his company and country’s belief in a totally free press in a tweet, saying: “As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Helsinki, we @hsfi want to remind them of the importance of free press. 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit are filled with news headlines regarding presidents’ attitude towards the press freedom.”

President Trump has lambasted legitimate news sources throughout his tenure, crying ‘fake news’ whenever it suits him. Putin has continually blocked some news sites and put in laws to keep the media at bay. Those efforts by both presidents have caused the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to drop the rankings of both countries, with the US now at 45 (down two places) and Russia all the way at 148. Finland is fourth, just behind Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.

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