Light ’Em Up

You Deliver, We PayThis is not made up: the State Department is distributing these crazy matchbooks — bankrolled by a private nonprofit called ‘Rewards for Justice’ — advertising the $25 million bounty on “Usama bin Laden.” The design has the aesthetic quality of a check cashing joint, and it is clearly and cynically aimed at the same constituency.

The inside of the matchbook reads in part:

“The United States Government is offering a reward of up to $25 million dollars for information leading to the capture of Usama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahri, Saif Al-Adel, or any other leader of al Qaeda. Reward may also include relocation with your family.”

You Deliver, We Pay

Scary, huh?

Matchbooks seem like a strange promotional medium, but the somewhat unseemly connotations of a bounty program probably demand advertising only on the fringes of culture. The Rewards for Justice program, of which this little curiosity is a part, makes an effort to come across as legitimate and above board, but no one I know had heard of it before. The whole thing leaves a bad tase in the mouth.