Friday, October 30, 2009

7207: Adopting New Ideas.

From Target Market News. It seems peculiar that this assignment would be handled by a White advertising agency. On the other hand, minority shops have been known to avoid Ad Council projects, as the not-for-profit efforts can literally be without profit—and ultimately costly.

Ad Council, U.S. government launch campaign promoting adoption of black children

The Advertising Council, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Children's Bureau and AdoptUsKids, announced today the launch of a campaign designed to encourage the adoption of African American children from foster care.

According to the Administration for Children and Families, there are currently 496,000 children in the foster care system and, of these, 130,000 are available for adoption. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care waiting to be adopted are African American; African American children are overrepresented in the foster care population relative to their percentage in the U.S. general population.

“We are optimistic that this campaign will result in a significant increase in inquiries to AdoptUsKids by families who are interested in adoption, specifically the adoption of older African American children and youth in foster care in the United States,” said Kathy Ledesma, Project Director, AdoptUsKids. Created pro bono by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, the new multimedia campaign which includes television, radio, and print PSAs, is designed to help prospective parents realize that “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” It also aims to significantly increase awareness of the need to provide loving, permanent families for children in the foster care system.

The new PSAs illustrate to potential parents that children in foster care don’t need perfection, they need the commitment and love a “forever family” can provide. The PSAs direct audiences to visit, or call 1-888-200-4005 for more information on the adoption process.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Children’s Bureau and AdoptUsKids on this humorous and heartwarming campaign that has inspired thousands of Americans to consider adopting a child from foster care,” according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. “I am confident that these new PSAs will help increase the adoption of African American children.”

The new PSAs are an extension of the previously successful campaign, launched in 2004, which focused on the adoption of children from foster care. The need for adoptive homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of color is especially great and the campaign has therefore targeted prospective homes for those populations. In the first 18 months following the launch, calls to the AdoptUsKids toll-free number increased by 236%. Additionally, more than 11,000 children whose pictures and biographies were featured on the AdoptUsKids website have been placed with a “forever family.”

“The insight that you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent is a great platform that continues to allow us to create both meaningful and entertaining work across all channels. The campaign is a classic for the agency yet we continue to evolve and find fresh ways to inspire prospective parents to take action,” said Izzy DeBellis, Managing Partner and Network Creative Director, kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners.

The new television, radio, print and Web banner PSAs are being distributed to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

The Administration for Children and Families/Children's Bureau Within HHS, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the agency that is responsible for Federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; works with States, Tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents.

Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families.

Within ACYF, the Children's Bureau (CB) plans, manages, coordinates, and supports child abuse and neglect prevention and child welfare services programs. CB is the agency within the Federal Government that is responsible for assisting child welfare systems by promoting continuous improvement in the delivery of child welfare services. CB programs are designed to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of all children, including those in foster care, available for adoption, recently adopted, abused, neglected, dependent, disabled, or homeless, and to prevent the neglect, abuse, and exploitation of children.

AdoptUsKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau of the Administration of Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services.

kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners is a leading integrated creative advertising and marketing services organization with $700 million in billings and 300 employees located in New York. Our dedication is to provide High Value Creativity that drives financial performance for our clients. The members of the kirshenbaum bond senecal+ partners group include kirshenbaum bond senecal advertising, Company C, Dotglu, LIME public relations + promotion, The Media Kitchen, Open Mind Strategy, and Varick Media Management. The Clients of the Group include BMW, Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets, Cablevision, Diageo, Delta, HomeGoods, Kao Brands Company (Jergens, Biore, Ban, John Frieda, Curel), Mohegan Sun, Panasonic, Starz Entertainment and Weight Watchers among others.

The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council has produced, distributed and promoted thousands of public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas of health & safety, community and education.

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