AD COUNCIL AND NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL LAUNCH NEW CYBERBULLYING CAMPAIGN
NEW YORK, March 06, 2007 / PRNewswire / – The Advertising Council, in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, U.S. Department of Justice, and Crime Prevention Coalition of America, joined today to announce the launch of a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate tweens and teens about how they can play a role in ending cyberbullying.
“We are delighted to be joining the National Crime Prevention Council to launch this new campaign to help teenagers combat cyberbullying,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of The Advertising Council. “This is a serious issue in our communities and we believe these PSAs will inspire young Americans to stop cyberbullying.”
Bullying is a widespread problem for our nation’s youth, and with the rapid rise in electronic communications, cyberbullying—using the Internet or mobile devices to send or post harmful or cruel text or images—has become a serious issue. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 43 percent of teens 13-17 years old say they have experienced cyberbullying in the past year. Furthermore, studies show that teen girls are the biggest perpetrators. The study also found that nine in ten teens who had experienced cyberbullying (92 percent) reported that they knew the person who was bullying them. Additionally, teens are twice as likely to talk to a friend about the incident rather than their parents or another adult.
Created by volunteer ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the multimedia campaign includes viral videos directed by Joe Pytka as well as radio and web advertising. A few of the radio and online banner PSAs feature an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog®—an icon tweens welcome as a reassuring presence in the advertising—telling them to delete damaging e-mails or text messages and not to forward them.
“Our work is based upon a simple insight: If you wouldn’t do it in person, why do it online?” said Matthew Atkatz, Executive Creative Director, Interactive & Media Convergence at Saatchi & Saatchi. He added: “We chose to focus on the web rather than TV to speak with tweens and teens in the medium where cyberbullying takes place – we hope kids will watch these hard-hitting vignettes and share them to spread the message.”
The PSAs direct audiences to the website www.ncpc.org to learn more about cyberbullying. The website also includes a special downloadable document for parents.
“NCPC has been a leader in bullying prevention education since the late 1990s, so it is fitting that we expand our efforts to address cyberbullying,” said NCPC president and CEO Alfonso Lenhardt. “Online bullying can have the same debilitating effects on a young person as face-to-face bullying—depression, a drop in grades, loss of self-esteem, suicide, and other violent acts. We simply must do something to stop this devastating problem.”
Per the Ad Council’s model, the ads will air in time that is donated by the media. PSA messages from the McGruff® Take A Bite Out Of Crime® public service advertising campaign have been the beneficiary of more than $1 billion in donated media advertising since the campaign’s inception.