The ad world hopes the Ad Council‘s new Chair, Starcom MediaVest CEO Laura Desmond, will shake things up for the 73-year-old organization that tries to inform and save lives. She’s got the advertising and media chops, the awards (including this year’s Media Network of the Year at Cannes Lions), and a surprisingly winning penchant for spinning phrases like “media ecosystem” into everyday conversation. (Ahem: The Ad Council is an essential part of that media ecosystem.) What kind of campaigns will the Ad Council produce under Desmond? She’s been known to tweet about “the greatest social challenge of our time” – youth unemployment. And money near mouth: the Ad Council is hiring.
In 1941, the Ad Council – then called The War Advertising Council – created its first public service announcement (PSA) to sell war bonds. Other campaigns at the time included “Loose Lips Sink Ships” (1942-1945) and America’s beloved “Smokey Bear” (1944), who btw is still putting out forest fires! In the eighties, the Ad Council hit PSA gold with Vince & Larry, the crash-test dummies who encouraged Americans to buckle up. The organization has produced hundreds if not thousands of PSAs since then, but none has been quite as memorable.