Olympic focus for Consumer Product Safety Commission in anti-drowning campaign

Now in their seventh year working together, the federal agency and Finn Partners company Widmeyer are tying the effort to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

A pool safety event conducted by the group in 2013.
A pool safety event conducted by the group in 2013.

WASHINGTON: The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Widmeyer, a Finn Partners Company, are tying the latest iteration of their anti-drowning campaign to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The two sides recently agreed to a contract running through September 27, 2016, with three renewal options, said Jim Luetkemeyer, senior partner and public affairs lead at Finn Partners. The partnership is going on its seventh year. This time around, the push has a budget of more than $1 million.

The firm will also spend another year working on the Commission’s Anchor It! campaign, which attempts to prevent deaths and injuries from furniture and TV tip-overs.

"[Commission] chairman Elliot Kaye had a vision since the end of the London games for the Rio games to be a platform for Americans to learn even more about drowning and how to prevent child drowning," said Scott Wolfson, the regulatory agency’s communications director.

He added that the two groups "shared a common goal not just to achieve media impressions but to see signs we’re saving lives." To that end, the Commission is pursuing national coverage on NBC as well as multilingual and multiplatform messaging.

Widmeyer is also trying to increase the campaign’s partnerships, currently at more than 800 including the American Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation, to more than 1,000.

The agency also helped the Commission launch its The Adventures of Splish and Splash app, as well as its inaugural pool safety song.

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