(Reuters) – The Ad Council on Tuesday said it raised $ 37 million from corporate donors including Bank of America, Facebook and General Motors to fund a nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.
The nonprofit, best known for creating Smokey the Bear’s famed fire prevention campaign, will begin launching public service announcements on TV, web and social media this month to combat distrust and hesitation of the vaccine. .
Major donors supporting the campaign include Walgreens and Walmart, as well as nonprofits such as the American Heart Association, the board said.
The Ad Council is seeking to raise $ 50 million to develop the educational program.
Particular attention will be paid to developing messages that reach racial minorities, who are more likely to distrust the health sector due to decades of unequal treatment and well-documented cases of discrimination.
“Our nation’s recovery hinges on widespread adoption of COVID-19 vaccination, which will require the most ambitious public education effort ever undertaken by the Ad Council,” said Lisa Sherman, chief executive of the Ad Council, in a declaration.
Advertising agencies, including JOY Collective and Alma, are working with the Ad Council to develop public service announcements.
Reporting by Sheila Dang, editing by William Maclean