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Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Tom Waits Provides Soundtrack for National Campaign Combatting Hunger

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"We all need to be reminded that the folks who need help getting back on their feet are all members of our family." - Tom Waits

On November 25th, the Advertising Council and Feeding America announced the launch of a new national public service advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of the issue of hunger in America and motivate Americans to help combat the problem.

Hunger in the U.S. remains invisible to most Americans, yet as the economy worsens, demand at U.S. food banks is increasing at an alarming rate. According to Feeding America, a staggering 1 in 8 Americans, including millions of children, seniors, and the working poor live with hunger every year.

"The fact that more than 35 million Americans struggle with hunger each year is inexcusable. This campaign will help the country to realize that they have neighbors, acquaintances, and other people they interact with every day who need their help," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. "In this nation of abundance, we all need to join together to help those in need."

Created pro bono by Ogilvy NY, the new TV, radio, print, and web advertising aims to change the way Americans look at this critical issue affecting our country and to understand the fact that many people they interact with on a daily basis may not know where their next meal will come from. The PSAs direct the audience to the campaign's website www.feedingamerica.org to find out more about hunger in the United States and how they can help in their communities.

"We are thrilled to partner with Feeding America to educate Americans about just how close hunger is to each one of us," according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. "I believe that the 1 in 8 campaign will inspire Americans to become involved in this critical issue."

"This work uses simple visual imagery to demonstrate the reality of the fact that everyone today knows someone who is hungry," said Antonio Navas and Chris Bradley, creative directors at Ogilvy who developed the campaign. "We were very fortunate to get musician Tom Waits to contribute a beautiful piece of music - "Never Let Go" off of 2006's Orphans -- that helps bring the work to life and connect with the public in a tangible way. We believe it will have great impact on this important cause."

Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide this week and will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

FEEDING AMERICA Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America and its network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks operate 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms.

THE ADVERTISING COUNCIL The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

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