Agency to provide expertise for iconic anti-smoking truth® campaign
After a comprehensive review, Legacy® announced its selection of New York-based MediaCom as the new media planning and placement agency for the foundation’s nationally recognised, proven-effective youth smoking prevention campaign, truth®.
MediaCom’s brief will be to help power paid and owned media efforts intended to engage truth®’s target audience: teens and young people who are increasingly open to experimenting with tobacco use. The resumption of such detrimental behaviors comes at a time when the US Food & Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon be in the marketplace with bold, anti-tobacco mass media initiatives. Together, all three campaigns have the potential to serve as catalysts to spark a second wave of historic declines in tobacco use.
To that end, Legacy will soon devote new and significant investments in paid advertising to help augment the federal government’s commitment to both youth smoking prevention and adult cessation. Such national paid advertising will supplement truth®’s extensive grassroots and digital outreach in order to fully surround the youth audience that the campaign must reach. Media planning and buying plays a critical role in extending the campaign’s important messages, and MediaCom will work closely with Legacy to create partnerships, branded entertainment content, and innovative outreach initiatives capitalizing on social and emerging media channels.
The selection of MediaCom concludes a periodic review to ensure the foundation’s campaigns are benefitting from the best thinking in the marketplace and that all assets are used to their fullest advantage. “MediaCom rose to this challenge brilliantly,” said Eric Asche, Legacy’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work with them to promote and extend our advertising efforts, as part of our important mission to save lives.”
“Going toe-to-toe with Big Tobacco constantly requires innovation and ingenuity, and MediaCom delivers big on both,” continued Asche. “We’ve often said that combatting youth smoking is a David versus Goliath fight; we depend heavily on great partners that help us battle for market share – or hearts and minds – among our youth audience. Through our review, MediaCom brought so much to bear, demonstrating a deep bench, forward thinking and synergistic relationships. We couldn’t ask for a better partner as we head into what we hope will truly be a historic effort to kick-start social norm change around youth tobacco use in the coming year,” he said.
Commenting on the win, MediaCom USA’s CEO, Sasha Savic, added, “Winning is a wonderful thing, but to be truly moved by an organisation’s mission – to be able to do work that will literally save hundreds of thousands of lives – there could be no greater mission, and it’s why we’ll go to the end of the Earth for truth®. We can’t wait to leap out of the starting gate.”
Credited with preventing an estimated 450,000 youth from starting to smoke between 2000 and 2004, truth® has long been recognised as an award-winning innovator in changing social norms around smoking. For more than a decade, the campaign has saved lives by arming America’s most at-risk teens with the facts about tobacco use and the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The campaign, which has included everything from TV print and digital advertisements to mobile gaming and an annual grassroots summer tour, has been recognised nationally and internationally for its ground-breaking successes over many years.
Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognised public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.