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MTV and SpinVox Partner to Launch First Ever Integrated Voice Powered Cause-Related Social Networking Campaign 'Stand By What You Say'
Date:6/10/2008

CAMPAIGN VOICED BY SUPERSTAR KELLY ROWLAND

'CAUSES' PROMOTES CAMPAIGN TO ITS 12 MILLION MEMBERS

LONDON and NEW YORK, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV's Staying Alive Foundation, SpinVox and Causes on Facebook today announced the launch of their joint campaign, 'Stand By What You Say'. The groundbreaking initiative encourages young people to speak openly about sex, sexual health and HIV/AIDS, with a view to increasing awareness and breaking down the stigma and discrimination which so often accompanies the disease.

The campaign, which uses the SpinVox service to convert voice messages into text, is the first of its kind. It encourages users to pick up the phone and 'Talk About...' the pleasures and issues surrounding 21st century sex. Those that speak up are then asked to bolster their support by pledging money to the Staying Alive Foundation, MTV's HIV and AIDS charity which allocates grants to youth-led organisations who work to raise awareness on a local, grass-roots level. SpinVox itself will be 'standing by what it says' to match funds raised to the value of $50,000.

'Stand By What You Say' aims to empower young people to speak freely about sex. It advocates that only by speaking openly can the stigmas be erased and barriers broken down. An open mind leads to open discussions which ultimately helps promote safe sex and lowers the risk of HIV and AIDS.

Callers are greeted by 2008 Staying Alive Foundation Ambassador Kelly Rowland, who prompts them to leave a message at 513-729-6417. The voice messages are converted to text and posted on a bespoke Staying Alive Blog http://www.standbywhatyousay.com by SpinVox. Topics such as 'sex secrets,' 'one night stands' and 'condoms' will act as conversation starters and encourage debate among global youth audience. Different themes and questions will be posed throughout the campaign to keep the contributions coming.

"MTV is proud to be a part of this innovative campaign," said Bill Roedy, CEO, MTV Networks International. It is only by speaking out openly about sex, sexual health and HIV/AIDS, that attitudes can be changed, barriers broken and stigma reduced. 'STAND BY WHAT YOU SAY' is the right to talk freely about your first crush, about the craziest place you've had sex, about carrying condoms. It's about talking freely about peer pressure to have sex or choosing not to. By speaking freely and standing by what you say, we are encouraging young people to take the first step in altering the dynamics of the epidemic."

"Voice-powering a campaign in this way is a world first," says Christina Domecq, SpinVox co-founder and CEO. "Together with MTV we're breaking new ground by changing how people can contribute to the Staying Alive Foundation, encouraging them to speak freely, openly and honestly about sex and the issues of HIV/AIDS. Sharing experiences, advice, the good and bad times, but also the ridiculous and humourous moments that happen around sex is a powerful way to involve and educate others, harnessing the power that we all have to change attitudes and so the progression of this disease."

For more information about the Staying Alive Foundation, visit http://www.staying-alive.org.

About MTV's Staying Alive Foundation

Founded in 2004, MTV's Staying Alive Foundation is a global public charity operating in affiliation with MTV Networks International. Its mission is to empower and support young people who are protecting themselves and their communities against HIV and AIDS. The Foundation provides grants to youth-led initiatives committed to educating their peers about HIV and AIDS. It is dedicated to fighting stigma and discrimination and empowering young people to protect themselves against the disease. For more information log onto http://www.staying-alive.org/foundation.

About SpinVox

SpinVox(R) brought together the two most popular methods of communication -- voice and text -- and created a new category of messaging called Voice-to-Screen(TM). Its award-winning service is now making everyday communication simpler and more powerful, creating new recurring revenues for wireless, landline, cable and VOIP carriers as well as service providers and web partners. SpinVox has already launched its service with Alltel, Cincinnati Bell, Sasktel, Rogers, Telus, Telstra, Vodacom South Africa, Vodafone Spain and livejournal and announced a deal with Skype. As a managed service provider any network or service can rapidly and cost-effectively implement SpinVox.

At the heart of SpinVox is its Voice Message Conversion System(TM) (VMCS), which works by combining state-of-the-art speech technologies with a live-learning language process. VMCS is being rolled-out across four continents in four languages -- English, French, Spanish and German.

About Causes

Based in Berkeley, California, Causes is a technology start-up dedicated to empowering any individual to impact the world around them through collective action. Through Causes on Facebook or MySpace, any person with passion and initiative can create a cause, recruit their friends and, most importantly, raise money directly through the application for any registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or political campaign.

About MTV Networks International

MTV Networks International includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV: Music Television, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), VIVA, Flux, Paramount Comedy, Comedy Central, Game One, Neopets, gametrailers, Shockwave, Addicting Games, Atom Films and Xfire. MTV Networks' brands are seen globally in 560 million households in 162 countries and 33 languages via more than 150 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 350 digital media properties. The company's diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).


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SOURCE MTV Networks International
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