PSAs earn $1.5bn in donated media

NEW YORK: The Ad Council has reported its best results to date, having received $1.58 billion in 2001 for donated media space for its PSA campaigns.

NEW YORK: The Ad Council has reported its best results to date, having received $1.58 billion in 2001 for donated media space for its PSA campaigns.

Of the 59 campaigns monitored by the Ad Council in 2001, the average donated media per campaign was $36.5 million - up $4.5 million from the previous year. The overall 2% increase from 2000 marked the fourth consecutive year that the campaigns have generated over $1 billion in donated media. Figures incorporate broadcast and cable TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor, transit, and internet placements.

Despite a suffering ad market in which it would seem natural for donated media to increase, Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon said this wasn't a factor. She attributed the continued success of the campaigns to "a lot of hard work in a challenging economic year, and three specific tactics: increasing media outreach, addressing issues that resonate with the media, and ensuring quality in creativity.

"What it ultimately comes down to is whether or not the media people making the decisions think the campaign is creative enough to evoke an emotional response, she said.

Increasing staff in several marketplaces to localize the campaigns was part of the Ad Council's enhanced outreach efforts. "It's about competing with other campaigns for a limited amount of space, said Conlon. "It's important to differentiate yourself by sending people out to educate each marketplace on the issues, and show local results. The media wants to see customized campaigns relevant to their particular market."

A drunk-driving-prevention campaign, sponsored by the US Department of Transportation, received the most media support last year, at $88 million.

The Coordinated Campaign for Learning-sponsored drive on learning disabilities came in second, with $87 million. The Afterschool Alliance, Earth Share, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy sponsored the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place campaigns, respectively.

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