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Video: The Ad Council Partners With UNICEF to Promote and Distribute Myanmar Cyclone PSAs Filmed by A-List Celebrities
Date:5/16/2008

Appeals for Funds Focus on Millions of Children Still in Danger

NEW YORK, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fund for UNICEF and The Advertising Council today announced a partnership to distribute and promote a series of national public service announcements (PSAs) filmed by A-List celebrities, including Ben Stiller, Nicole Ritchie, Joel Madden, David Duchovny, Tea Leoni, and Paul Rudd, and designed to help survivors of the Myanmar cyclone. The Ad Council is distributing the new television, radio, print and online PSAs to 33,000 media outlets nationwide today.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/adcouncil/33309/

The biggest natural disaster since the tsunami, Cyclone Nargis has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000. But it is the millions of children in the country who need medicine, food, clean water, and shelter who are the most in danger. The celebrity PSAs, which were shot in Los Angeles by the award-winning GRAINEY Pictures (GPix), will appeal on the behalf of affected children by asking concerned Americans throughout the country for donations.

"In any disaster, it is children who suffer most. Vulnerable to hunger, disease and trauma, children require urgent life-saving assistance to survive and with millions of lives hanging in the balance, every second counts," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "We are so thankful to the Ad Council and the celebrities who are helping us get the word out, encouraging Americans around the country to do whatever it takes to help."

Of the affected populations across Yangon and Irrawaddy Divisions, approximately 30% to 40% are estimated to be children. UNICEF's priority is to assist the affected populations in Yangon and Irrawaddy Delta areas, especially the most vulnerable, children and women.

UNICEF is distributing life-saving supplies including safe drinking water, food, essential drugs and health kits, as well as other emergency supplies such as blankets, tarpaulins and cooking sets. Lack of access to clean water and poor sanitation, inadequate shelter and poor nutrition pose particular threats to children, as well as diarrhoeal diseases, measles and malaria. In a post-natural disaster environment, measles is rapidly contagious and can result in high mortality rates.

Additionally, UNICEF's role in emergencies is to protect children and women from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. In one area alone, 500 children were identified as either separated (still with a relative) or unaccompanied (totally alone).

With its partners, UNICEF is working on preventing, and facilitating the identification of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as reunification. UNICEF is setting up child-friendly spaces in the camps housing displaced populations. These child-friendly spaces can also serve as makeshift schools while UNICEF and its partners work on the massive task of restoring the school system.

"Millions of Americans have seen news reports on the devastating tragedy, and are unaware of how they can help," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of The Advertising Council. "We are proud to offer our services to help extend the reach of these messages and provide relief for those who have been affected, particularly the children."

The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs to media outlets nationwide digitally. Services have been donated by FirstSpin, AdSend and wheresmymedia. Per the Ad Council's model, all of the PSAs will run in advertising time and space that is entirely donated by the media.

In the wake of a disaster that has left at least 1 million people homeless and some 24-million affected, UNICEF is gearing up for a massive relief and supply effort. Prepositioned supplies have already been distributed to address lack of access to clean water and poor sanitation, inadequate shelter and poor nutrition. The new appeal will pave the way for more supplies to reach the battered country once the supply pipeline opens up.

UNICEF has been present in Myanmar since 1950, with nine zonal offices and a head office in Yangon.

To donate to the Cyclone Nargis disaster, please go to: http://www.unicefusa.org/myanmar or call 1-800 4UNICEF.

About The Advertising Council

The Ad Council (http://www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

About UNICEF

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world's leading international children's organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival. For more information about UNICEF, please visit http://www.unicefusa.org.


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SOURCE The Ad Council
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