Reframing the Good Fight

Bad strategy can ruin a good cause. One cause we care deeply about is fighting antiquities trafficking that supports terrorism. In the wake of the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS, cultural racketeering was thriving amidst the breakdown of civil society and a slowing economy. One non-profit in the Middle East was fighting to save the region’s cultural heritage, but was also struggling to gain traction and reach scale.

Strategy & Execution

Our strategists reframed the issue in an innovative way. Antiquities trafficking – we said – not only threatens our shared cultural heritage, but also threatens human rights, national economies, and global security. We crafted a messaging strategy to hit this point home among international governments and the public at large. We positioned the non-profit as a thought leader in the space by developing an outreach program for Middle Eastern governments and also created a region-wide Cultural Heritage Government Task Force.


Our client was able to advise governments on how to stop antiquities trafficking and, instead, harness cultural heritage as a means to rebuild economies. The interest and results generated led to the launch of the first Ministerial-level conference in the region and the non-profit as the leading authority on the issue. Today, our client leads the global campaign against cultural racketeering.