- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 5, 2004

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Advertising Council have introduced another round of ads as part of its successful Ready campaign.

This time, the public service announcements (PSAs) are aimed at parents and encourage them to develop a family plan in case of a terrorist attack or other emergency.

The campaign, which features children asking questions about what to do in an emergency, includes three TV ads, two radio spots and three print ads. Internet ads also are being developed.

In one TV spot, a girl sits at a table eating cereal and asks:

“What if something happens? Should I stay where I am and wait for you? … Is there a place we all meet? If the phone doesn’t work, how do I tell you I’m there? … What should I do?”

A voice-over says: “There’s no reason not to have a plan in case of terrorist attack. … Talk to your family about what you should do in case of an emergency.”

Viewers then are directed to www.ready.gov.

“Sometimes the most telling reminder that you should have a plan is to have a child ask what they should do in case of an emergency,” said Jimmy Siegel, senior executive creative director at BBDO New York, which created the pro bono ads.

“Children look to their parents for advice on what to do if there is an emergency,” said Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive officer of the Ad Council. “I am confident that the PSAs will resonate with parents and give them the tools necessary to help keep their families safe.”

The Ready campaign, which began in February 2003, was designed to educate Americans to prepare for and be able to respond to terrorist attacks and other emergencies. Media outlets have donated more than $310 million in advertising time and space.

About 58 percent of Americans have taken at least one step to prepare for emergencies, according to the Ad Council.

Ready Business, part of the campaign, was introduced in September to motivate businesses to prepare for emergencies. Soon, the campaign will introduce Ready Kids, offering preparedness information to children.

Focus on gay market

Fleishman-Hillard Inc. has created a practice that will handle public relations and marketing to the homosexual community.

The new division, called FH Out Front, will help clients reach out to the untapped consumer market.

“FH Out Front represents a structured, strategic approach to communicating with a large group that has unique needs and interests as well as tremendous purchasing power,” said John D. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of Fleishman-Hillard, based in St. Louis.

The buying power of the homosexual and transgender community is estimated at $450 billion annually.

FH Out Front is made up of about a dozen Fleishman-Hillard employees in seven markets. Ben Finzel, a senior vice president at the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, chairs the practice along with Phillip Sontag, a vice president in the firm’s San Diego office.

FH Out Front’s clients include Kodak and the Washington and New York chapters of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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