ADC Awards

The ADC Annual Awards is the oldest continuously running industry award show in the world. Now in its incredible 102nd year, these awards celebrate the very best in advertising, digital media, graphic and publication design, packaging and product design, motion, experiential and spatial design, photography, illustration and fashion design all with a focus on artistry and craftsmanship.

2023 ADC Awards - Advertising

The Self Censoring Ad

Agency Åkestam Holst NoA / Stockholm + Bold Printing / Stockholm

Client Reporters Without Borders Sweden


Innovation / Press

Annual ID


About the Work

On January 1:st, a new Espionage Act came to effect in Sweden. An amendment to the constitution that criminalizes whistleblowers, leading to censorship and threatening free speech as we know it. To shine a light on this alarming development, Reporters Without Borders launched a self-censoring campaign. On the brink of the new year, they collaborated with Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, creating a full-page ad that demonstrated how objective journalism is literally fading away. The ad, featured in the December 31 edition of Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest morning paper, was partially printed with a specially designed CO2-sensitive ink. So just in time for January first, the ad began to censor itself. In this way, the Swedish people could see – in real time – how the most critical part of a news story was censored from country's largest morning newspaper – right in front of their eyes while having their last morning coffee of the year. When the clock struck twelve, and both the new year and the new law took hold, crucial parts of the reporting were…completely gone. A direct effect of a new law, showcased by new Co2-absorbing printing technique.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 9



Akestam Holst NOA / Stockholm

Production Company

Bold Printing / Stockholm

Art Director

Hugo Wallmo

Creative Director

Joakim Khoury


Sara Bellafesta

Account Director

Jesper Ander

Art Director Intern

Linn Löfholm

Copywriter Intern

Ida Nordeng

Production Manager

Caroline Sjöström
John Mullersdorf

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