Press Release

New PSAs Encourage Americans to Make a Financial Contribution in Support of Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

Ad Council Joins Coalition of Humanitarian and Aid Organizations from the Public and Private Sector to Encourage Donations in Support of Domestic and International Disaster Relief Efforts Now and in the Future

NEW YORK, NY, November 5, 2012 — In response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the Ad Council launched today a new series of television, print and Web public service advertisements (PSAs) encouraging Americans to help by making financial contributions to charitable relief organizations. Monetary donations enable relief organizations to react with speed and specificity across all critical sectors, for both immediate relief and long-term recovery operations, providing the most urgently needed supplies and services to those affected by the storm.

The Ad Council was able to act quickly after the hurricane to develop the PSAs because of their partnership with a disaster relief coalition. The public/private sector coalition of humanitarian and aid organizations came together in 2011 following the Joplin tornados with the goal of developing consistent messages that can be used in times of crisis to motivate people to donate money to support domestic and international disaster relief efforts. Coalition members include the Center for International Disaster Information, the U.S. Agency for International Development, The UPS Foundation, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and InterAction.

As of November 5, Hurricane Sandy has severely affected portions of the Caribbean and in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, where the storm has impacted at least 24 states from Florida to New England. More than 100 people in the Caribbean and the U.S. have lost their lives, and Sandy is estimated to have caused at least $60 billion in economic damages. Furthermore, 1 million homes have been evacuated and 8 million people are still without power.

The Ad Council worked with the disaster relief coalition organizations to develop an online toolkit with public service communications materials for the organizations to customize and use in outreach efforts following a disaster. The toolkit includes customizable PSA materials, such as an online video, radio, print and Web ads, research-based messaging recommendations, social media messaging, and tips to conduct outreach to consumers. Immediately following Hurricane Sandy the first creative iteration from the toolkit, released today, was developed by the Ad Council and made available to encourage support for relief efforts. The new television, radio, print and Web PSAs, developed by Free Range Studios and RadioFace, highlight that even a small monetary donation will make a big difference in the wake of the disaster. The PSAs direct audiences to visit, where they can find a list of charitable organizations working to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“We know from our experience in addressing crises such as Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti that Americans respond quickly and generously following disasters to offer a helping hand,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We’re based in New York City and, therefore, many of us witnessed the devastation of Sandy firsthand. We’re proud to join this wonderful collaboration to develop consistent messaging that will educate Americans about the benefits of monetary donations to support those affected by this crisis and future relief efforts.”

The creative materials were developed and informed by research conducted by Egg Strategy and the Ad Council to determine the most effective way to communicate the importance for monetary donations in disaster relief efforts. Interviews and focus groups included disaster relief experts, community affairs/news directors, and individual donors. The research found that donors often give goods because they believe that a material donation will have a greater, more immediate impact than a small cash donation. In reality, monetary contributions—even relatively small ones—can be used immediately, can purchase exactly what is needed, and help support local economies over the long term.

“It was an honor for Free Range to work on this important messaging piece with the Ad Council. In the aftermath of a disaster, people really want to help, and informing them of how to do so is of critical importance. We are excited to see how this campaign supports people to take action and donate,” said Erica Priggen, Executive Producer at
Free Range Studios.

DG donated the digital distribution for television PSAs and Laser Video Corporation donated editing services.

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 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 For more information, please visit You can also visit or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Media Contact:

Ellyn Fisher
The Ad Council
[email protected]

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