BERLIN, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Germany is spending $35 million on a campaign to make its citizens feel good about themselves, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
The "You are Germany" media campaign features the accomplishments of Ludwig von Beethoven, Albert Einstein, race car driver Michael Schumacher and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt in a bid to enhance self-esteem in a country where a health insurer found that the number of people in Berlin who suffer depression has risen 70 percent since 1997.
"Germans, in general, are heavy thinkers and not so relaxed about their lives and the future," said Oliver Voss, an advertising executive working on the campaign. "But these are hard economic times and we're still suffering from the cost of reunification. All this leads to mental depression."
The campaign, funded by some 25 media companies, will run through January, but has its detractors.
The Berliner Zeitung newspaper wrote that the ads were "self-intoxication" that trivialized the country's underlying economic and political problems.