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(Aug. 20, 2001) -- Valued at what would be $20 million in paid-advertising, News Corp. will launch a companywide public service announcement campaign, "The Power of You," featuring its Fox network stars discussing issues such as child abuse, drugs, parenting, anti-smoking, violence and AIDS.

The campaign features stark black and white photography with actors talking seriously about a range of topics. "The Power of You" will air not only on News Corp.'s big Fox broadcasting network but will also extend across other Fox brands -- Fox News Channel, FX, Fox Sports Net and National Geographic Channel, of which News Corp. owns an 67% equity stake.

Some 75 different 30-second spots are being produced featuring actors Calista Flockhart, Jane Kazmareck, Jessica Alba, Chi McBride and Chris Titus.

"This issues are very black and white for us," said Cindy Hauser, senior vice president of marketing at Fox. "[Our network] has a young audience. We have opportunity to talk to the right people about these issues. They are not going to be part of the TV wallpaper."

The public service marketing effort triples the Fox network previous commitment in terms of the yearly network-produced public service announcements. In past years the Fox network would produce occassional PSAs but only as it related to a specific network program episode that dealt with, say, child abuse or drugs.

News Corp. executives say to make room for the huge influx of announcements, the Fox networks' advertising sales and on-air promotion divisions will look to trim back on their respective paid-commercial and promotional avails. The campaign, produced in-house, will premiere today on Fox's Teen Choice Awards. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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