Ad Council and Save the Children Launch Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Impact of Local Health Workers in the Developing World

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 General News
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NEW YORK, May 4 Save the Children and The Advertising Council announced today the launch of a national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of the preventable and treatable causes of childhood death in the developing world. The new campaign shows Americans that they can have a significant impact on saving and improving the lives of at-risk children and newborns by supporting the deployment of local health workers.

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According to Save the Children, the majority of child deaths are preventable through proven, low-cost interventions like vaccinations, better delivery and newborn care practices, and treatment of common infections like diarrhea and pneumonia. This care is delivered by local health workers serving in their own communities or local clinics. In fact, Save the Children estimates that every four seconds a child's life is being saved as a result of the care provided by these local health workers. However, global estimates suggest the need for over 4.2 million more health workers to deliver this life-saving care throughout the world. The PSAs highlight the local health worker as a hero, offering a sustainable solution for child survival in the developing world.

Every day, about 24,000 children in the developing world die of preventable or treatable illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhea before they reach the age of five, according to Save the Children. Nearly 4 million of these deaths occur among newborns less than one month old, which is roughly equivalent to the total number of babies born annually in the U.S. These tragedies occur because many of these children live in marginalized urban and rural areas which lack access to trained health professionals and health facilities. Local health workers are trained to promote preventive care and to assess and treat children with signs of disease and other life-threatening conditions.

"I have met many of these women and men who are not only looking after their own children but all of the children in the community," said Mary Beth Powers, Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival Campaign Chief. "They make my daily jog look like a walk in the park compared to the miles they travel to help save lives."

Consumer research released today by Save the Children and commissioned by WomanTrend found that 42 percent of women said they would be encouraged to give time or money to help save the lives of newborns and children in the world's poorest nations if they had a better understanding of what they could do to help. Furthermore, 52 percent of women said they would be willing to donate money to a respected charity and 51 percent said they would volunteer their time to help save the lives of newborns and children in the world's poorest nations.

"We are thrilled to partner with two wonderful organizations, Save the Children and BBDO, on this compelling campaign that has the opportunity to save the lives of children and newborns throughout the world," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "By highlighting the significant work of local health workers, we hope to inspire Americans to learn more about Save the Children and provide encouragement and support to these local heroes that are so deserving of it."

Created pro bono by BBDO, the campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and web ads. The PSAs, filmed in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, aim to show Americans that they can have a significant impact on saving and improving the lives of at-risk children and newborns by supporting local health workers. The campaign highlights the local health worker as the bridge between American supporters and children in need. The PSAs end with the tagline "See where the good goes" and share the experiences of the local health workers in a way that is both relatable and inspiring. Additional radio spots feature voiceovers by actresses Lisa Edelstein, Rebecca Romijn, and actress and singer Idina Menzel, all supporters of Save the Children.

"This is an issue that is near and dear to all of us at BBDO," said John Osborn, President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO New York. "We've tried to make a connection with our audience by accentuating the positive, reinforcing the heart and soul of Save the Children. People told us they want help and hope, so these became the building blocks of our effort, one of the ways BBDO is approaching 'soul branding,' which reinforces doing well by doing good."

All of the PSAs direct audiences to visit a new interactive website,, developed by Washington, DC-based Home Front Communications. The site provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the issue of child survival and the role of the local health worker and "See where the good goes." Additionally, the site features a customized Google map application of their village routes, blog posts, video bios and statistics on how many children they treat and the child survival solutions they administer.

In addition to the new PSAs and website, the campaign will engage the audiences through a series of social media strategies, including blog and online outreach, as well as social networking initiatives. Through an innovative Facebook application, users will be encouraged to become a part of a virtual wall of support for local health workers and share messages of encouragement. Audiences will also have the opportunity to sign up on Twitter to receive tweets about local health workers and their journeys. They can text "GOODGOES" to 20222 to give $10 for a package of newborn care and give a baby a healthy start in life. Furthermore the new PSAs will be featured on the homepage of YouTube.

The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

Save the Children

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children. Our 29 national members work together to deliver programs in over 120 countries around the world, including the United States. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters.


BBDO's mantra is "The Work. The Work. The Work." Every day, people in 287 offices in 79 countries work job by job and client by client, to create and deliver the world's most compelling commercial content. BBDO is currently Network of the Year at Cannes, the world's most awarded agency network in The Gunn Report, and the most awarded global agency network across every marketing communications discipline in The Big Won report. Encouragingly, for the future, it is also Network of the Year in the 8th annual Young Guns Awards, which recognize the work of young and emerging creatives. BBDO is part of Omnicom Group Inc (NYSE: OMC) (

The Advertising Council

The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

SOURCE The Ad Council

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