WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To coincide with the one-year anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, today she has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Ad Council to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to provide parents and caregivers throughout the country with information to help them make healthy food choices and increase physical activity. The First Lady will announce the launch of the new ads at an event held at North Point Community Church in Atlanta this afternoon.
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First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off Let's Move! on February 9, 2010 in an effort to engage families and communities and mobilize the public and private sectors to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation. The overall goal of Let's Move! is to help America's youngest children reach adulthood healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
"Over the last year we have fundamentally changed the conversation about how we eat, how we move, and how we grow and get our food," said Mrs. Obama. "One of the goals of the Let's Move! initiative is to provide parents and caregivers with clear and actionable information they can use to make healthy choices. The PSAs launched today offer simple tips and ideas for all families to encourage healthy eating and physical activity."
Today's launch includes three multimedia PSA campaigns designed to reach parents and caregivers in the general market, African American and Hispanic communities. The ads were created pro bono by ad agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Burrell Communications and Casanova-Pendrill respectively. Each effort includes a series of culturally relevant PSAs for television, radio, print, outdoor and Web and directs audiences to visit www.LetsMove.gov, which provides simple tips and ideas for eating healthy and getting active with your family, in your schools, and in your community.
"We are thrilled to join the First Lady to unveil these new PSAs created on behalf of Let's Move!, which were developed by our country's top ad agencies," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "Media outlets across the country have stepped up to provide commitments of support even before the launch today. These public and private partnerships are at the heart of Let's Move! and we believe that these collaborations, along with the extensive research we've conducted, will motivate parents throughout the country to join in the effort to keep our kids healthy."
According to HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980, with nearly one in three children in the U.S. considered overweight or obese. One-third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives; many others will face chronic obesity-related problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma. A CDC report found that the health cost of obesity in the U.S. is as high as $147 billion annually.
"The First Lady and Let's Move! have led the way by shining a light on the childhood obesity problem in our country," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Providing parents with the information they need to make healthy choices for their families is at the heart of Let's Move! and part of our effort to fight obesity across the country and across all populations. We are pleased to have the Ad Council's support as we work to ensure a bright and healthy future for our children."
"Combating childhood obesity and encouraging all Americans to balance healthy eating with daily physical activity is a top priority for the Obama Administration," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Ultimately, eating well and exercising is a question of public health. Overcoming this epidemic of obesity requires that we work together at all levels-parents, teachers, community and business leaders and government to achieve healthier lifestyles."
NBCU's iVillage, the essential digital brand for women, will further the reach of the new Let's Move! PSAs and engage their communities in a discussion on helping children lead healthy lives. The site will feature creative materials from the PSA campaigns, along with tips on physical activity and healthy eating. Additionally, iVillage's Chief Correspondent, Kelly Wallace will host a live twitterview with the Executive Director of Let's Move!, Robin Schepper, who will answer questions from the iVillage community on the importance of keeping children motivated and excited about being healthy. Furthermore, AOL will support the new PSAs by donating exclusive space on their homepage tomorrow, and running the ads in rotation across AOL's network of sites.
Members of the Ad Council's Television Steering Committee have also made a commitment to run the campaign materials as part of an industry-wide roadblock from March 14 through April 4. Media companies participating in this unprecedented initiative include AETN – A&E Television Networks encompassing the A&E Network, HISTORY, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, BIO, History International, Lifetime Real Women and History En Espanol, CBS Corporation, ESPN, The Fox Networks Group, which includes Fox Broadcasting and Fox's cable and regional sports networks, NBCUniversal Broadcast and Cable Groups which includes Bravo, bravotv.com, Chiller, Comcast Spotlight, Oxygen, oxygen.com, Sleuth, Syfy, syfy.com, Telemundo Communications Group, The Weather Channel, UniHD, USA Network and usanetwork.com, Rainbow Networks, Time Warner Cable; Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Univision Communications Inc. and Viacom's MTV Networks and BET Networks.
Additionally, a new television PSA, which was developed by the Ad Council in collaboration with Let's Move!, USDA, National Football League (NFL), NFL Players Association, National Dairy Council, and Brunner advertising, was debuted during Super Bowl weekend in Dallas. The TV spot features Tony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and encourages youth to get healthy and be active by joining the Fuel Up to Play 60 movement. The Ad Council is also developing additional public service communications programs on behalf of the HHS and USDA to address the issue of childhood obesity in support of Let's Move!. These PSAs will be designed specifically to reach youth audiences and they will be launched later this year.
Previous PSAs for Let's Move! were produced by the Ad Council during the past year in partnership with Disney, Major League Baseball, MLB Players Association, Scholastic Media and Warner Bros. The collection of Let's Move! television PSAs alone, which have been in market for less than one year, have already aired over 300,000 times, earning more than $6 million in donated media support and over 235 million household impressions. The Ad Council has created Obesity Prevention PSAs on behalf of HHS since 2004 and Nutrition Education ads on behalf of USDA since 2005.
The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council's model, all of the new PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (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. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
SOURCE The Advertising Council