Ad Council and UN turn to PR in campaign to boost AIDS awareness

NEW YORK: The Ad Council has turned to PR to boost its recently launched AIDS-awareness campaign. The initiative, developed in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is focused on a series of PSAs designed to draw attention to and correct inaccurate perceptions about the global epidemic.

NEW YORK: The Ad Council has turned to PR to boost its recently launched AIDS-awareness campaign. The initiative, developed in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is focused on a series of PSAs designed to draw attention to and correct inaccurate perceptions about the global epidemic.

"A PR campaign that runs concurrent with the PSAs is what will really maximize this effort," explained Susan Jacobsen, VP of corporate communications for the Ad Council.

Last month, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan appeared on NBC's Today show to discuss the campaign. The Ad Council also distributed a VNR in time for AIDS Day, December 1, to draw attention to the cause's PSAs.

PR efforts also helped generate sponsorship from AOL Time Warner and Cable Positive, the cable industry's AIDS action organization.

Jacobsen said the campaign would last a minimum of three years because the Council is "looking to change behavior, which can take a long time."

The television and radio spots, created by ad agency Leo Burnett, depict orphans living in a world without adults. They conclude with a voice-over by actor Michael Douglas equating the 14 million children orphaned as a result of AIDS with every child under the age of five in America.

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