AT&T: Don't Text and Drive

New Campaign Tells People That 'No Text Is Worth Dying Over'

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Texting and driving can have serious consequences. That's the message of a new campaign being rolled out by AT&T this week that says, "Txting & Drivng ... It Can Wait."

The national effort, by BBDO, New York, and BBDO, Atlanta, seeks to raise awareness, especially among younger drivers, about the risks of texting and driving. Ads show true stories about texting that changed or ended people's lives. For example, one TV spot shows the text "Where u at?" while a woman says, "This is the text my daughter was reading when she drove into oncoming traffic," along with the message: "No text is worth dying over."

"We explored several campaign concepts, but we didn't have our 'aha' moment until we asked one of our focus groups to take out their devices and read the last text they received," said Cathy Coughlin, senior exec VP-global marketing officer for AT&T, in announcing the effort. "When we asked if that particular message was worth the potential risk of reading while driving at 65 mph, you could have heard a pin drop. That's when we realized the message 'it can wait' was effective in educating consumers about the dangers of texting while driving."

The campaign, which will be rolled out over the next few months, will include print, radio and online in addition to TV. It will also use in-store signage, collateral and online billing. As part of the effort, AT&T has launched an online resource center, with information and pledges for parents and teens, and a Facebook app that friends can share to encourage each other to take the pledge not to text and drive. AT&T plans to promote the pledge with a "twitition" on Twitter and users can follow the effort via @ShareATT.

In May, National Youth Safety Month, AT&T will donate $250,000 to nonprofit organizations dedicated to youth safety.

AT&T first announced its commitment to raise awareness about texting and driving in September, starting with an effort to educate employees, customers and the public that included revising its own wireless and motor vehicle policies.