Keep America Beautiful taps Qorvis for initiative

STAMFORD, CT: Keep America Beautiful (KAB), an environmental group founded by members of the beverage industry and famous for its "Crying Indian" PSA of the 1970s, has hired Qorvis Communications to launch a new integrated communications campaign.

STAMFORD, CT: Keep America Beautiful (KAB), an environmental group founded by members of the beverage industry and famous for its "Crying Indian" PSA of the 1970s, has hired Qorvis Communications to launch a new integrated communications campaign.

The famous PSA featured actor Iron Eyes Cody - who was later revealed to actually be of Sicilian heritage - crying silently as he watched litter fall from a passing car. After a couple of subsequent decades of relative national obscurity, the group seeks to boost participation in its more than 1,000 local affiliates, said VP of communications Robert Wallace.

"[The effort is both] exciting and daunting: The 'Crying Indian' is considered one of the greatest PSA campaigns in history," he added. "We want to frame ourselves as a forward-thinking and fairly progressive organization."

Tactics have not been finalized, said Qorvis founding partner Doug Poretz, but will include a mix of media relations, advertising, blogger outreach, and more.

The overall message of the campaign, which includes a recent initiative combating cigarette littering, will be that relatively small actions taken by individuals can, collectively, contribute greatly to curbing litter and other forms of environmental degradation.

"Everybody wants to be green, but they don't know where to start," Wallace noted. "KAB has always been about responsible consumerism - little by little these small things add up."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Wallace said four undisclosed agencies were finalists.

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based Goodby Silverstein and Partners, on a limited pro-bono basis, created a Web site and animated films featuring a 20-something character named KAB Man. Wallace said that earlier work will likely be incorporated into the new campaign.

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