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Calls to Action

New Advertising Council Campaign Focuses On Autism

Campaign To Be Created In Partnership with Autism Speaks

NEW YORK (February 6, 2006) - The Advertising Council and Autism Speaks today announced a new three-year public service advertising (PSA) campaign in support of autism awareness. The campaign, which is being created pro bono by BBDO, will focus on raising awareness of autism and on the importance of early intervention. The campaign is scheduled to premiere in March, 2006, and will run across all media channels including print, broadcast, cable, radio and Internet.

Every 20 minutes another family receives the devastating news that their child has autism. One in 166 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, with 1 in 104 boys affected – 4 times the number of boys than girls. This is a significant increase from just a decade ago, when 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed.

"The goal of our campaign with the Ad Council will be to help people understand that autism is more common than they think" said Alison Singer, Senior Vice President of Autism Speaks. "We are grateful to the Ad Council for its commitment to improving overall awareness of autism, to breaking the stigma associated with autism, and to improving the outcomes for those who are or will be diagnosed by encouraging parents to seek early intervention services."

"From polio to cancer to obesity, the Ad Council has been raising awareness and making a positive impact on the health of all Americans for decades. The significant increase in children being diagnosed with autism in this country is alarming. We are proud to partner with Autism Speaks and BBDO to raise awareness about this devastating disorder and inspire parents to seek early intervention for their child," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to combine operations and bring together two of the nation's leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 60-year history of marshalling volunteer talent from advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council has produced thousands of public service campaigns that address the most pressing social issues of the day. Ad Council icons and slogans are woven into the very fabric of American culture – from Smokey Bear's "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" and McGruff the Crime Dog's "Take A Bite Out of Crime," to the United Negro College Fund's "A Mind is a Terrible Thing To Waste," and "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk." Last year, the Ad Council received more than $1.7 billion in donated advertising time and space from the media. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit its Web site,