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Launched on Father's Day, New National PSAs Promote Fun and Affordable Ways to be an Involved Father

June 22, 2011

"The smallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child's life. Take time to be a dad today." That's the campaign message of new public service advertisements (PSAs) that launched as part of a nationwide recognition of Father's Day. Campbell Ewald (CE) created the PSA's pro bono as part of a long standing, 15 year effort to encourage fathers to be more involved in their children's lives.

The campaign is an effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and the Ad Council to show fathers the unique and irreplaceable role they play in their children's lives.

The PSAs have featured different segments of the population and the various challenges fathers face. This year's campaign includes new TV, radio, outdoor and Web PSA's that include Hispanic fathers and Military dads, and the small, yet precious moments they share with their children. For example, in one PSA an unforgettable reunion between a military father and his daughter is captured when he surprises her in her classroom.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), children who live without their biological fathers are on average at least two to three times more likely to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 24 million children (34%) in the U.S. live apart from their fathers.

Whether they live together or just see each other occasionally, research shows kids benefit greatly when their fathers are actively involved in their lives. The Responsible Fatherhood campaign urges fathers to be proactive and not wait for their children to ask them to read them a book, play a game, or sit down together for a meal -but take the lead. Spending time with a child can energize the relationship and create a stronger bond between a father and child.

"This Sunday we celebrate fathers nationwide, including those men who are serving in the military." said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "By launching this campaign in advance of Father's Day, we strongly believe these touching PSAs will inspire fathers throughout the year to take the time to be involved in their children's lives."

"We are proud to further the conversation our work ignited years ago about the irreplaceable role fathers play in their children's lives," said Bill Ludwig, chairman and CEO of Campbell Ewald. "We hope to inspire and engage fathers through the relevant and heartwarming messages while enhancing the quality of life of their children."

The U.S. Census reports that 34% (slightly higher than the national average) of Hispanic children live in father-absent homes; while more than 1.8 million children of military dads suffer from the unique stresses of military life. New Spanish television, radio and outdoor PSAs were developed in collaboration with the Hispanic Communications Network.

All of the PSAs direct fathers to visit the campaign website, www.fatherhood.gov, or to call 1-877-4DAD411 for fatherhood programs, resources and a series of downloadable "Take Time Tips" that are fun and budget friendly, including:

  • Create small moments that bring big rewards - Go for a walk, read a story, cook dinner, play a video game or board game, color a picture, or do a crossword puzzle with your child. These everyday activities are easy, affordable and can spark conversation, laughter and lasting memories.
  • Be a digital dad - Send your child a text message for no reason at all, other than to say, "I love you," or "Great job on the test."
  • Come and get it - Eat meals with your children. Breakfast, lunch and dinner create an opportunity to give your child your full attention. It's a time to share news about your lives, have discussions and make plans for your family.

To date, the campaign has received nearly $123 million in donated media across television, radio, outdoor, print and digital. Per the Ad Council's model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

About Campbell Ewald
CE is a collaborative marketing communications company that provides clients game-changing solutions. As one of the nation's largest communications brands, CE is made up of a collective of thought leaders with innovative capabilities both traditional and specialized, including advertising; insights and solutions planning; integrated content strategy and development; social, relationship, retail and experiential marketing; interactive/digital; and strategic media planning and buying.

CE has offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Miami and Washington, D.C. A part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), CE partners with a score of national brands, including Alltel Wireless, Carrier, Chicken of the Sea, General Motors, Ghirardelli, Kaiser Permanente, Olympic Paints and Stains, OnStar, USAA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Mint, the United States Navy and the United States Postal Service.

About U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'
Through HHS, the federal government supports responsible fatherhood in diverse ways. Because engaged fathers strengthen families and contribute to healthy outcomes for children, many HHS programs integrate support for fathers. These include Head Start, Child Support programs, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. HHS also supports programs that focus on responsible fatherhood, such as the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grant program administered by the Office of Family Assistance.

About National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) is funded by the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Family Assistance's (OFA) efforts to assist States and communities in promoting and supporting Responsible Fatherhood. Primarily a tool for professionals operating Responsible Fatherhood programs, the NRFC provides access to print and electronic publications, timely information on fatherhood issues, and targeted resources that support OFA-funded Responsible Fatherhood grantees. The NRFC Website also provides essential information for other audiences interested in fatherhood issues. The address for the NRFC website is www.fatherhood.gov.

About 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. The Ad Council-Central Region office serves the Detroit media market and is located in Warren, MI. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.

About Hispanic Communications Network
Hispanic Communications Network - HCN - is the leading social & cause marketing communications firm targeting Latinos in the U.S. With over 27 years of experience, with an unrivaled network of more than 200 affiliated radio stations and nearly 100 newspapers, HCN serves Hispanics nationwide with vital information in Spanish on healthcare, higher education, financial literacy, homeownership, science, technology, immigration and the environment. We produce dynamic media campaigns that blend television, radio, print and online elements to open doors of opportunity for the nation's largest minority group. HCN partners with organizations that share a commitment to strong communities.

Related News:
New Public Service Advertisements Inspire Fatherhood Involvement (Ad Council, 6/14/2011)

Adelantándose al Fin de Semana del Día del Padre, Nuevos Anuncios de Servicio Público Promueven la Diversión y las Formas Económicas de Ser un Padre Comprometido (Ad Council, 6/14/2011)