AD COUNCIL TO LAUNCH ANTI-OBESITY PSAs

Part of $100 Million Effort to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The Advertising Council is planning to launch a new anti-obesity campaign as part of the government's effort to prevent diabetes, asthma and obesity.

The new ad campaign, which will be overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, supports spending of more than $100 million on various local initiatives aimed at all three diseases.

The department's Centers

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for Disease Control currently runs a paid advertising campaign about obesity aimed at children, but the Ad Council's public service message includes adults.

The Ad Council today said the public service announcements, which will be done by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, urge Americans to pursue healthier lifestyles.

National debate
The effort comes at a time of increased national debate regarding obesity and fast food. Executives at some ad groups have expressed concern that the ad industry needs to talk to consumers about maintaining a healthy diet in the face of consumer group attacks on fast-food chains and in-school advertising promoting various packaged food products.

The anti-obesity effort may even get mentioned in President Bush's State of the Union message next week.

The Ad Council said that in addition to the main campaign, separate executions will be targeted toward African-American and Hispanic audiences.

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