TJ Maxx raises poverty awareness in back-to-school campaign

FRAMINGHAM, MA: TJ Maxx is working with Save the Children for a back-to-school marketing promotion designed to raise awareness about illiteracy and poverty among children in the US.

FRAMINGHAM, MA: TJ Maxx is working with Save the Children for a back-to-school marketing promotion designed to raise awareness about illiteracy and poverty among children in the US.

Sonya Cosentini, media relations supervisor at TJ Maxx, said the store has worked with the non-profit since 1984, but this year it would be launching the integrated campaign on its largest scale yet.

In addition to media outreach, the campaign will feature children from Save the Children communities on in-store displays, where customers will be able to donate to the cause. TJ Maxx has also made a video news release of the children's photo shoot and will run the footage in its stores. Other promotions will include direct mailers and information on the company's Web site, Cosentini said.

TJ Maxx is working with its AOR Leary & Company on the campaign, and Dogmatic, Inc. assembled the video news release.  Cosentini would not disclose the campaign's budget.

Mark Shriver, VP and managing director for US Programs at Save the Children, said the organization is also doing some internal promotion. But Shriver added that the number of customers that will be reached during the two-month campaign far exceeds any outreach the non-profit could do on its own.

"The thing that TJ Maxx brings to the table is they have a major public relations group, and they're a major corporation," he noted. "TJ Maxx has done a wonderful job raising dollars for us in the past, but this really ramps up the public awareness of our work."

Shriver said he hopes the campaign puts a human face on the issues while offering solutions.

To date, the 23-year partnership has raised about $10 million in donations from various sources, Cosentini noted. In-store donations have generated about $1 million per year since 2000, Cosentini said. The company hopes to exceed that number this year.

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