Widmeyer to help educate parents about 'hidden dangers' in home

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to raise awareness about deaths and injuries among children from furniture falling over.

An illustration from the Anchor It initiative
An illustration from the Anchor It initiative

WASHINGTON: Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, has won a contract with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for a national education campaign about preventing deaths and injuries among children from furniture falling over.

Widmeyer received the award, worth $400,000, in late September to develop a yearlong campaign called Anchor It. Tasked with addressing  "the dangers and hazards of products in and out of the home," the firm will develop a logo, PSAs, and messages in areas such as preschools and youth groups, said Widmeyer partner Jim Luetkemeyer.

The agency will also help with earned media, Spanish language outreach, and social media, and it will work with local celebrities including TV news anchors to talk about preventing furniture tip-overs.

A child dies once every two weeks as a result of a TV, furniture, or appliance tip-over incident, said Kim Dulic, a spokesperson for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. On average, 38,000 children annually were taken to the emergency room between 2011 and 2013 for treatment of injuries related to tip-overs.

The Commission wants to raise awareness about "this hidden danger in the home" and motivate parents and caregivers to take steps to prevent such incidents, Dulic explained.

In its pitch for the account, Widmeyer said campaign outreach should take place when consumers are most likely to buy a TV or do home improvement. The Commission will begin research this week and hopes to launch the Anchor It initiative soon, possibly with a big messaging push near the Super Bowl, Dulic said.

"This is only the second time in the past decade that [the US Consumer Product Safety Commission] has been able to make an investment into a PR campaign," said Dulic. "It’s how important this message is to the agency."

The organization’s other ongoing PR campaign is its national Pool Safety program, which Widmeyer also helped launch and will continue to handle through May 2015.

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