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Joe Biden: 'It's on Us' to Foster Social Good

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A little-known coalition of ad agencies working behind the scenes to spread social good was recognized yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden in the White House for their work.

Vice President Joe Biden discussed the importance of continuing the White House's
Vice President Joe Biden discussed the importance of continuing the White House's "It's on Us" campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses on Thursday. Credit: Lindsay Stein

Speaking at the White House Digital Influencer Summit, Mr. Biden praised the group's "It's on Us" campaign. President Barack Obama and Mr. Biden launched the "It's on Us" public awareness campaign to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses. The initiative followed on Mr. Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's introduction of guidance to help colleges and universities better understand how they should respond to sexual assault on campus.

The ad push was originally created by ad agency Mekanism in 2014, and two years later Mekanism CEO Jason Harris teamed up with Wolf & Wilhelmine CEO Heidi Hackemer to form the Creative Alliance, a low-profile cadre of high-profile creative agencies joining forces for social good. The other 18 founding shops include: BBH, Matter Unlimited, Republica, Sub Rosa, 72andSunny, Huge, The Black Sheep Agency, Blue Engine Message & Media, TruthCo., Spark, Chapter, Translator, RPMGRP, Havas Worldwide New York, Big Spaceship, AKQA, Briefcase and Sew L.A.

Today, the Creative Alliance has 47 members, including the likes of MTV, Facebook, Comedy Central, Tumblr, Funny or Die and more, and the collective continues to serve as the creative engine behind Civic Nation, a nonprofit that addresses major issues, such as White House initiatives.

Even though a new administration is coming in, Mr. Biden made it clear that the hard work done by everyone involved in "It's on Us," including students and universities, must continue. "I'm not sure what the next administration will do, but I pray they will continue to make it a priority as President Barack Obama and I have," said Mr. Biden to a room full of college students and professors, Creative Alliance and Civic Nation members, digital influencers and Ad Age.

So far, nearly 400,000 people have taken the "It's on Us" pledge and about 2,000 events have been held across 500-plus college compasses across the country. The campaign also has 95 partners, such as MTV and Major League Baseball.

Dozens of digital influencers were invited to the summit as a way to increase their interest and involvement in Civic Nation initiatives and the Creative Alliance.

"The Creative Alliance started as a simple idea -- give agencies, media platforms and influencers a forum to use their powers for good. Now 47 companies strong just a year later, our most important work is yet to come," said Mr. Harris.