First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Ad Council and American Red Cross to Launch PSA to Support Victims of Earthquake in Haiti

New PSA directs viewers to visit to support those in need

Jan 19, 2010, 11:17 ET from The Ad Council

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the destruction and devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, First Lady Michelle Obama has joined The Advertising Council and the American Red Cross to launch a series of national public service advertisements (PSAs). The television and radio PSAs are designed to encourage all Americans to support relief efforts for the Haitian citizens impacted by the earthquake.

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"I was eager to join the Ad Council and the Red Cross to launch this call to action in the wake of this week's devastating earthquake," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "The people of Haiti are struggling just to survive. And every one of us has the power to help."

The PSAs encourage audiences to go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. On cell phones, viewers can text "HAITI" to 9-0-9-9-9 and $10 will be given automatically to the American Red Cross.

The PSAs are available in :30 formats and were filmed and recorded in the White House Vermeil Room on Thursday, January 14, and produced and released by the Ad Council immediately. The Ad Council and the American Red Cross have also developed digital outdoor and Web PSAs, which are being distributed to digital boards, networks and sites. These additional PSAs do not feature Mrs. Obama.

"The American Red Cross is rushing supplies and disaster management staff to Haiti in the aftermath of this earthquake, and we are so grateful for the financial support that allows us to provide help and hope for people during their time of need," said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "We are truly thankful for these efforts to support our humanitarian mission."

"We know that in times of tragedy and crisis, when our global neighbors need us the most, the American media steps up and offers their immediate and unconditional support. And with the unimaginable crisis in Haiti — it's no different," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council. "We salute Mrs. Obama and the Administration for their leadership during this difficult time and we're proud to partner with the Red Cross to help raise awareness and encourage support for their critical relief efforts."

The television and radio spots are being distributed to stations nationwide today. Per the Ad Council's model, the PSAs will air in advertising time that is donated by the media.

The following media companies have stated that they will be supporting the PSAs with donated media and distribution assistance: ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC Television Networks, Clear Channel Communications, Comcast, CNN, Headline News, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network, Sundance Channel, IFC, Tribune Television Stations, Discovery Networks, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Networks, Fox Networks Group and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Lamar Advertising will also be donating space on their digital boards.

Additionally, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) have offered their support by engaging their members and helping with PSA distribution.

Home Front Communications and Magno Sound & Video donated their services for the PSA production and DG-FastChannel Network, Firtspin and The AdSpot have donated their services for the digital distribution. Furthermore, the National Captioning Institute has donated their closed captioning services.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer efforts from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. For further information about the Ad Council, visit

SOURCE The Ad Council