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Autism Speaks Awarded "Bronze Effie" at 40th Annual Effie Awards

Award-Winning Public Service Announcements Were Created by BBDO and the Ad Council

NEW YORK, NY (June 5, 2008) – Autism Speaks' public service announcement campaign, developed in conjunction with the Advertising Council and produced pro bono by advertising firm BBDO New York, was awarded a prestigious Bronze Effie Award in the PSA category at the 2008 Effie Awards Gala in Manhattan last night. The Effie Awards, now in their fortieth year, recognize the most effective advertising campaigns of the year. Other Effie winners included campaigns for Kleenex, McDonald's and Nintendo Wii.


View Highlights from the

2008 Effie Awards Gala

YouTube ~ 1 Minute

The Autism Speaks/Ad Council “Odds” campaign (/whatisit/ad_council_campaign.php) is an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the fact that one in every 150 children is now diagnosed with autism, and to alert parents to the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. The three-year, multi-media campaign premiered in April, 2006, and has appeared in national and local print, television, radio and Internet outlets. In its first two years, the campaign has garnered more than $115 million in donated media, and according to Ad Council research, it has directly resulted in a 43-percent increase in autism awareness.

The “Odds” PSAs contrast the long odds associated with dreams many parents have for their children – as well as the chances of suffering an accident or injury -- with the startling 1 in 150 odds of a child being diagnosed with autism. The ads also communicate to parents the need to learn the early signs of autism by visiting the web site, where they can also find out more about early intervention services.

“It is very gratifying to have our agency's work for Autism Speaks recognized in this way,” said Andrew Robertson, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide and an Autism Speaks board member. “We are very proud to have played a role in conveying these important messages and in bringing autism awareness to new levels.”

“Autism awareness is a critical component of Autism Speaks' mission, and this campaign is the centerpiece of our efforts,” said Alison Singer, Autism Speaks executive vice president of communications and awareness. “We are very grateful to BBDO, to the Ad Council and the thousands of media outlets that donated time and space to this campaign, enabling us to deliver critical, actionable information to families nationwide.”

About Autism
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Wright also serves on the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and Mission Product, LLC. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit