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June 11, 2003, 1200 Noon PDT, (FTW) -- With the receipt of checks for $7,000, $5,000 and $2,000, FTW on Monday, June 16, passed the $100,000 goal to run its hugely popular, full-page, Washington Post ad in the twelve largest papers in the country.

"In the twenty-eight days from May 21st until today, June17th, 1,879 people donated $113,708 to see The Washington Post ad run in twelve major cities," said FTW Publisher/Editor Mike Ruppert.  Donations came from fifteen countries with a full fifteen per cent of the total coming from Canadians who recognize that until the United States changes internally, the rest of the world will continue to experience economic and political repression, erosion of civil liberties, and exploitation of their natural resources. Other countries whose citizens contributed to seeing the FTW ad run included Japan, Australia, South Africa, France, Britain, Germany, and Switzerland. The average donation was $61 but there were several large donations at key moments.

"We realized that we were going to go over the top when one woman from Chico, California, called us on Thursday, June 12, and asked how close we were to the $100,000 goal. At that point we were just over seven thousand away and she said, 'We're going to the bank tomorrow and get a certified check. Run the ad,' Ruppert said. "And on top of that we got checks for two thousand and five thousand yesterday along with another thirty smaller donations which brought us to $113,000." All funds have been deposited in an escrow account with the L.A.-based ad agency handling the campaign.

The twelve city campaign, handled by the More Than News agency, was to have included the following papers with a readership of more than forty million:

The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Boston Globe
Chicago Tribune
Dallas Morning News
Los Angeles Times
Miami Herald
The New York Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
San Francisco Chronicle
Seattle Times
Minneapolis Tribune
Arizona Republic

Recent developments indicate, however, that one or more of these major papers may refuse or resist running the ad which should have had little resistance because of its prior acceptance by The Washington Post. But this has not deterred the More Than News' director and founder, Ken Levine, who masterfully employed negotiating skills honed as an LA news director and PR consultant to get the original ad run despite what appeared to be steep political opposition in Washington. After hearing that the goal had been reached Levine observed, "When we place the order and write the check to the ad brokerage firm that will book the ads then we will have some real clout."

Ruppert says that now that the goal has been reached, the order will be placed this week and Ken Levine can work his magic again. If one or two of the originally targeted papers refuses to run the ad it will trigger a serious PR campaign that will focus on that paper's suppression of First Amendment rights in America. And FTW has changed its strategy from running all the ads on one day to running them at staggered intervals over a period of two weeks to a month.  "The powers that be who assume they are untouchable will never know what city FTW is going to strike in next. There is no doubt that with the money raised we will reach the 40-50 million readers originally targeted, perhaps in more than 12 cities and we will reach the audience we need to reach," added Ruppert.

Now that the money has been raised, there will be a delay of as much as one to four weeks before the first ad is run. The full-price for these ads, with a guaranteed date of publication would have been more than $400,000. As it is, Ruppert is confident that with Levine managing the campaign, FTW will have some say in when the ads run and notes that, "The people who offered so much to make this happen are going to be very surprised with what we can achieve. Ken is an absolute master at this game."

Reaching $100,000 in less than a month is a testament to the hope people felt when they saw the first ad run in The Washington Post. It was an end to their feelings of alienation and was a totally empowering effort for them. FTW 's web site visitors topped thirty thousand on the day following that ad, and all who are involved in the current campaign believe that by running the ad in major cities throughout the country a threshold can be crossed in the American consciousness that will encourage more people to speak out, and more importantly, to believe and know that they are not alone and that they can make a difference.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Starting today FTW will create a new timeline listing important developments in this campaign to change America. Please visit regularly to watch our progress.

Read the Ad Campaign Story <Here>.    See the Ad <Here>. 

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