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  • Lou Killeffer

#Alone Together & More from the Ad Council

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve always taken the Ad Council - it’s role, responsibilities, and continuing contributions - almost entirely for granted.

Of course I know who they are and presumed to know what they do, “Oh yea, the Ad Council, those guys are great.” But as a vital part of America’s communal infrastructure, repurposing communications assets, skills, and tools from a focus on profit to the service of the common good, their efforts have always been exceptional. And they've never been more needed than now.

Today, with support from the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Council is providing the leadership and pivot point for heavyweights in media, social, tech and the agency community to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

I suspect they’ve never found so much on offer, so quickly, from so many. Just consider some of those recently referenced as involved. It's a list that reads like the Mt. Rushmore of new media and marketing, and includes: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Group Nine Media, Google, Pluto TV, Pinterest, TikTok, WarnerMedia, YouTube, Xandr, TrueX, Cadreon, The Trade Desk, EMX, Acxiom, Crossix, Fluent, LiveRamp, Pandora, SoundCloud, Snapchat, Twitter, Viacom CBS’ MTV and Comedy Central CMT and VH1, and Verizon Media’s HuffPost, Engadget, and TechCrunch, and agency Pereira O’Dell.

#AloneTogether, is a public service announcement (PSA) campaign encouraging people to stay connected while they stay home and practice social distancing.

Another PSA, featuring new household names Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Deborah Birx coordinating the White House coronavirus response, and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams also stresses social distancing.

It’s staggering what’s already been accomplished and my sense is there’s a great deal more to come. As Catherine Chao, Director, Strategy & Evaluation at the Ad Council told me today:

“Things are happening very quickly. We’re connecting many different groups across corporations, media, and tech. So many people are stepping up not in their own business interest but simply because they want to do the right thing. Everyone wants to step up and support their neighbors…Maybe that’ll be one of the lasting impacts from this virus.”

Let’s all hope so.

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