Press Release

Merkley+Partners Wins Addy and Communication Arts Awards for Lead Poisoning Prevention Public Service Advertising Campaign

New York, NY, June 28, 2011 – The Ad Council, in partnership with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced today that Merkley+Partners, the pro bono advertising agency that developed their Lead Poisoning Prevention public service advertising (PSA) campaign, was honored by the American Advertising Federation by winning the Silver ADDY for best public service campaign. In addition, Merkley+Partners received the Gold New York ADDY for television and Silver New York ADDY for print in the public service category, as well as the District Silver ADDY for television. Further, the print series won a Communication Arts award.
Launched in April 2010, the multi-media campaign includes bilingual television, radio, print, outdoor and digital advertising. The campaign primarily aims to reach parents and caregivers of children age six and under and pregnant women who live in homes built before 1978, and are therefore at the greatest risk for lead poisoning. The objective is to educate our target about the dangers of lead poisoning so they can take immediate action to safeguard their children.
"We are very pleased that the American Advertising Federation and Communication Arts have recognized Merkley+Partners for such a creative and empowering body of work on behalf of parents of young children and pregnant women," stated Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "These PSAs will aid in raising awareness about lead poisoning so parents can educate themselves about how to protect their children in their homes.” 
With more than 50,000 entries annually, the ADDY Awards are the advertising industry's largest, most representative, and arguably toughest competition, recognizing and rewarding creative excellence in the art of advertising. 
Communication Arts hosts the most prestigious competition for creativity in graphic design, the Communication Arts Design Competition. Leading creative directors, art directors and writers judge the work for selection in this preeminent Advertising Annual.
“We are honored this important campaign, which directly affects the lives of so many parents and children, was recognized by the American Advertising Federation and Communication Arts. We attribute this success to the strong partnership between our Agency, the Ad Council and the amazing and supportive campaign sponsors,” stated Diane Hernandez, Group Account Director at Merkley+Partners.
All of the PSAs direct parents to visit www.leadfreekids.org or call a toll-free number (1-800-424-LEAD), to learn more about where lead can be found in their home, how to protect their children from exposure to lead and to know what to do if they or a member of their family is exposed to lead. The site encourages parents and other adults to download free toolkits in an effort to help eliminate childhood lead poisoning. 
To date the campaign has received nearly $17 million in donated media across television, radio, outdoor, print and digital. 
The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning 
The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning designs, develops and promotes programs, policies and direct services to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and create green and healthy homes for all children. For more information about the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, visit www.leadsafe.org.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. For more information about EPA, visit www.epa.gov
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
The Advertising Council 
The Ad Council is a 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 effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.
Merkley + Partners
Merkley+Partners is a full service marketing and advertising agency providing strategic direction to clients and creating print, broadcast, digital, social, viral, brand identity and CRM programs. Merkley serves a range of blue chip clients with recognizable, iconic brands. The agency was founded in 1993 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc., a leading worldwide communications company.

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