New PSAs: Billie Jean King vs. Osteoarthritis

Ad Council Launches Effort to Help Americans Fight Arthritis

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Billie Jean King is fighting arthritis in a new PSA campaign from the Ad Council. The effort, done in conjunction with the Arthritis Foundation and the United States Tennis Association, focuses on the power of movement and physical activity to counter osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

The PSAs were launched Aug. 31 at the U.S. Open (held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York) and were created pro bono by Y&R New York as part of the ongoing "Fight Arthritis Pain" campaign, which started in February 2010. The latest effort includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and Web advertising.

About 50 million people in the U.S. have arthritis, including 300,000 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with osteoarthritis affecting 27 million. At the same time, Ad Council research shows that only 16% of adults with OA strongly agree that they are very confident they can manage their pain. Arthritis can also keep people from using physical activity to help manage such conditions as diabetes and heart disease.

Billie Jean King, who has had OA since her 20s, is starring in the campaign, which directs audiences to the website for more information and to assess their risk. In addition, the campaign features a contest on Facebook, where people can submit photos of themselves playing tennis.

"We're really proud of our work with the Arthritis Foundation," said Tom Sebok, president-CEO of Y&R New York, in announcing the effort. "Helping raise awareness for such a prevalent disease and empowering those with arthritis to take action is incredibly important. We hope this campaign will make a positive difference in their lives

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