René Bresgen

Deutsche Telekom takes a stand against hate

  • “Lights on!” - Defending democratic values more important than ever before
  • Telekom appeals to the power of community with emotional campaign 
  • Light as a symbol of solidarity against hate, racism, and anti-semitism
Deutsche Telekom appeals to the power of community with emotional campaign

Deutsche Telekom appeals to the power of community with emotional campaign © Deutsche Telekom

Recent years have not only tested the democratic value system; they have also been a challenge in terms of how we interact with each other – on the internet and in society as a whole. Deutsche Telekom is sending out another clear signal against hate, racism, and anti-semitism. With its new campaign “Lights on! Against hate speech”, the company is calling on democratic cohesion in society and the voice of the people, as well as taking a stand against extremism of any kind.

As Deutsche Telekom’s Chief Brand Officer, Ulrich Klenke explains: “Defending democratic values and being committed to a tolerant society are more important now than ever before. With our new campaign, we are showing how the power of light can overcome hate. The light is a metaphor for the fact that we can all do something against hate, racism, and anti-semitism – on the internet, on public streets and spaces, as is currently the case everywhere.”

Against hate and exclusion

Deutsche Telekom’s campaign will be broadcast and published on TV, online, and in movie theaters starting February 1, 2024. The campaign is the next milestone in the companies’ continued commitment to tackling hate speech. For several years, the company has been educating, encouraging, and empowering people to oppose hate speech as well as uphold and defend basic democratic values online. In doing so, the company is being supported by many like-minded partners, such as HateAid, #ichbinhier, Das NETTZ, CORRECTIV, and many more. More information is available in the topic special “No hate speech” on our company website.

"The ‘Act responsibly’ principle is a key element of our Group strategy. We stand for diversity, equal opportunities and participation. The 'Licht an!' campaign reinforces our long-standing commitment 'No Hate Speech' and sends a clear signal for the defense of democratic values, which are increasingly being challenged these days," explains Melanie Kubin-Hardewig, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Telekom.


Voice of the people

The central element of the new campaign is an emotional film. It shows how hate from messenger services and the depths of comment sections comes out into the dark and creeps into everyday life. How walls of houses are symbolically marked with real disparaging remarks and insults and just how such shocking statements are unsettling. They diminish people’s sense of security and cause fear to spread. That is until the moment when more and more people turn on the light, causing the hate comments to be outshone by the bright and positive side. The solidarity of the people causes the hatred to disappear into the darkness. 

“Lights on!” shows how small actions can have a big effect. The campaign highlights the voice of the people and emphasizes how important it is for as many people as possible to get involved. It appeals to every single one of us to pay attention and become active. The music composed especially for the film makes the message even more emotional. The text is sung by Ibadet Ramadani. The singer, who grew up in Germany and Kosovo, gives the song an additional sociopolitical dimension with her haunting lyrics. 

As Christian Hahn, head of Strategy Marketing Communication and Media at Deutsche Telekom explains: “With our campaign, we are again demonstrating that Deutsche Telekom takes a clear stance against all forms of exclusion, hate, incendiary speech, and discrimination. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form – whether politically, religiously, or socially motivated, or based on origin, nationality, social status, or skin color.” The campaign film will be broad and wide-reaching and will be shown on TV, YouTube, as well as in selected movie theaters starting February 1, 2024. It can also now be seen on Deutsche Telekom’s online and social media channels. 

Deutsche Telekom stands for everything that connects people

Deutsche Telekom is strongly committed to diversity. It does not tolerate discriminatory actions or statements in any way. The Group has made a public and transparent commitment to this via its Code of Conduct and the Diversity Policy. Deutsche Telekom does not tolerate any unethical or immoral behavior, any form of harassment, insults, disparaging remarks, or incendiary speech and, of course, violation of the dignity and rights of other people. It stands for everything that connects people, societies, and cultures. The company clearly and aggressively rejects attitudes that divide and separate. 

Campaign credits

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Deutschland; Direction: Eugen Merher; Camera: Mortimer Hochberg; Production: Tempomedia Film-Produktion, Berlin; Music: Composition/Production: Wolfsrudel music; Singer: Ibadet Ramadani; Media: mindshare, Frankfurt and emetriq, Hamburg

About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom Group profile