Ad Council's 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner to Honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, Stephen Colbert to Host

Last year's dinner raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council and its 50 national public service campaigns

Jul 29, 2014, 09:30 ET from The Ad Council

NEW YORK, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ad Council, the largest producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) in the U.S., announced today that its 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner will honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith and Stephen Colbert will host. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Mr. Smith will be presented with this year's public service award in recognition of his personal and corporate commitment to philanthropy. He has been a global voice for environmental sustainability, disaster relief, education and road safety. Under his leadership last year, FedEx contributed over $46 million in cash and charitable shipping, along with thousands of volunteer hours through "FedEx Cares." FedEx has also been instrumental in emergency response efforts both domestically and internationally, aiding in relief for disasters including Super Storm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. Also, FedEx leverages its sustainability-focused philanthropic giving to help rebuild communities and ecosystems affected by natural disasters. Globally, FedEx provides monetary and transportation support to help communities in need in remote parts of the world by distributing medications to over 1,200 health clinics. 

FedEx also works closely on many issues that the Ad Council addresses with its campaigns, such as closing the achievement gap in education for African American and Hispanic youth by working with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

"The annual dinner is the highlight of our year, and a way for us to celebrate the year's successes and honor those who support the Ad Council and our more than 40 critical social issues," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council, "We're thrilled to honor Fred Smith for his commitment to giving to those in need in communities throughout the world, and we're very excited that Stephen Colbert will be our emcee. We are looking forward to a marvelous program."

Stephen Colbert is currently the host and executive producer of Comedy Central's award-winning program, The Colbert Report. In April 2014, it was announced that Colbert will succeed David Letterman on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman. Previous hosts of the Ad Council's dinner include Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Conan O'Brien and Brian Williams.

Attended by more than 1,300 prominent executives from the media, advertising, and corporate communities, the Public Service Award Dinner recognizes the industries and individuals who support the Ad Council and its public service campaigns. The dinner will be chaired by Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starcom MediaVest Group and the recently announced Chair of the Ad Council's Board of Directors. Following the Ad Council's annual tradition, last year's honoree, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, will present the award to Mr. Smith. Platinum Sponsors include Clear Channel and FedEx Corporation.

The Ad Council has been honoring corporate leaders for their contributions to public service since 1953. The Public Service Award Dinner is the organization's largest fundraising event. Last year's benefit raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council's programs and was ranked by BizBash as one of the top 100 events in New York City and as one of the top three advertising events of the year.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or view our PSAs on YouTube.

SOURCE The Ad Council