Local TV Puts The Brakes On Drunk Driving

In the ninth annual Project Roadblock campaign, new Ad Council and NHTSA PSAs illustrate the financial consequences of buzzed driving. The campaign will begin airing on TV stations on Dec. 26.

In advance of the holiday season, TVB and the Ad Council, with support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are partnering to combat drunk driving for the ninth consecutive year through a national public service advertising initiative titled, Project Roadblock: Local TV Puts the Brakes on Drunk Driving.

The PSAs highlight the increase in drunk driving related fatalities during the holiday season and the financial consequences of buzzed driving, with the goal of inspiring awareness of the dangers of driving buzzed so as to motivate people to plan ahead and designate a sober driver this holiday season. The initiative features on-air, online and mobile resources of local television broadcasters across the country Dec. 26-31.

The “Roadblock” — a TV industry term referring to multiple stations in a market airing the same ads in the same timeframe — consists of multimedia PSAs designed to inform viewers about the dangers, and financial consequences, of buzzed driving.  TVB, Ad Council and NHTSA expect record levels of involvement and support from local television broadcasters for this year’s initiative. 

Participation levels for the 2012 Project Roadblock campaign are pacing up versus 2011 with more than 900 television stations and multicast channels having already donated on-air, online and mobile time and space.

“Local television broadcasters have donated countless hours of media to our Buzzed Driving Prevention campaign,” said Peggy Conlon, Ad Council president-CEO. “Their generosity for Project Roadblock 2012 will further extend our critical ‘buzzed driving is drunk driving’ message into homes nationwide during this holiday season.”

Reinforcing the campaign message ‘Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,’ Project Roadblock is unveiling new TV PSAs created pro bono by advertising agency Merkley + Partners as part of NHTSA and Ad Council’s national buzzed driving prevention campaign. The new spots, Solitary Confinement and Bad Daters, as well as a Spanish translation of Bar Math, continue to illustrate the financial consequences of ‘buzzed’ driving — which can cost around $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates.


All of the PSAs will direct viewers to http://buzzeddriving.adcouncil.org, where they can take the pledge to not drive buzzed, learn the consequences of buzzed driving and create their own video to illustrate the importance of planning ahead and designating a sober driver. Participating stations will utilize a myriad of social networking tools to consistently reinforce the ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages, including through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter via the #BuzzedDriving hash tag.

“By partnering with the Ad Council and NHTSA on this important anti-drunk driving message, local television broadcasters continue to demonstrate their commitment to serve the interests of their local communities as well as their individual viewers,” said Steve Lanzano, TVB president-CEO. “In 2011, Project Roadblock reached 99.8% of U.S. television households with stations in 205 markets contributing an estimated $4.2 million dollars of air time over the six day period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and we anticipate even greater reach and results in 2012.

“There is no more powerful medium to reach individuals and make them aware of issues of urgency than local broadcast television and the TVB is enormously proud of the growing number of local TV broadcasters who are donating air time, online and mobile visibility and inventory for the 2012 Project Roadblock campaign. In doing so broadcasters are providing the ultimate service to their communities and saving lives,” Lanzano added.

Since 1983 the Ad Council has been partnering with NHTSA on impaired driving campaigns. The iconic campaigns include “Drinking and Driving Can Kill A Friendship,” launched in 1983; “Innocent Victims” (“Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”), launched in 1993; and the current “Buzzed Driving Prevention,” launched in December 2005. To date, the campaign has received nearly $400 million in donated media.

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