TVB Marks 10th Year Of Project Roadblock

Local broadcasters support the Project Roadblock initiative to combat drunk driving by donating on-air, online and mobile advertising assets to the PSA campaign, which will take place Dec.  26-31, the holiday period with some of the highest incidences of drunk driving fatalities. To commemorate Project Roadblock’s 10th Anniversary, broadcasters will add an advertising roadblock to this year’s campaign by running a Buzzed Driving PSA at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve on every participating station across the country.

Today the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB), the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) kicked off the 10th year of their nationwide public service advertising initiative, Project Roadblock: Local TV Puts the Brakes on Drunk Driving.

Local broadcasters support the Project Roadblock initiative to combat drunk driving by donating on-air, online and mobile advertising assets to the PSA campaign, which will take place Dec.  26-31, the holiday period identified by the NHTSA as having one of the highest incidences of drunk driving fatalities.

To commemorate Project Roadblock’s 10th Anniversary, broadcasters will add an advertising roadblock to this year’s campaign by running a Buzzed Driving PSA at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve on every participating station across the country.

Last year’s Project Roadblock resulted in more than 1,370 broadcast television stations and subchannels donating almost 50,000 placements of on-air, online and mobile time and space. The PSAs reached 99.8% of U.S. television households in 205 markets, with stations contributing an estimated $4.3 million of air time over the six days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said of the initiative: “National advertising campaigns, such as Project Roadblock, combined with tough and consistent enforcement of drunk driving laws can effectively influence behavior change. We encourage all revelers to plan ahead before the holiday festivities begin by designating a sober driver, arranging to take public transportation, or using your community sober ride program. Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent preventable — if you’ve had too much to drink, make the safe and responsible decision to give up the keys.”

According to a national survey[1] conducted by the Ad Council in January, only 8% of adults age 21 plus said they would be “extremely” or “very” likely to drive home while buzzed, down nearly 50% from those surveyed in 2005. Most notably, a higher percentage (49%) say they would “always” get a ride, taxi or public transport rather than drive if they felt buzzed, an increase of 17% from 2005.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“Local TV broadcasters are committed to serving the interests of local communities across the nation and TVB is enormously proud of all of the station groups who together have donated nearly $30 million in air time in the past 10 years to help save lives,” said Steve Lanzano, CEO of TVB. “Local broadcast television is the most powerful medium to reach consumers and these valuable impressions continue to resonate with local audiences and positively impact their behavior throughout the holiday season and beyond. All TVB member stations are encouraged to take part this year to continue to help NHTSA and the Ad Council increase awareness that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving during the 2013 holiday season.”

TV stations will premiere new television PSAs, Neon Signs created pro bono by New York-based advertising agency Merkley+Partners, during the Project Roadblock 2013 campaign. The PSAs will continue to reinforce the financial consequences of buzzed driving in an effort to communicate that getting pulled over for buzzed driving can cost around $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates. In addition to airing the new spots on their primary and D2 channels, TV stations will use Merkley+Partners’ digital creative to reach audiences through mobile and social media platforms.

“For more than 30 years we have partnered with NHTSA to work towards eliminating impaired driving,” said Peggy Conlon, Ad Council president-CEO. “Our invaluable 10-year partnership with TVB and their members is helping us reach this goal. Their generosity on the air and online has not only heightened awareness but inspired adults to refrain from drinking and driving.”

“We are all very proud of the work that we are creating with the Ad Council and NHTSA,” said Andy Hirsch, executive creative director and partner of Merkley+Partners. “What better gift for the holidays than to help save a life?”

Project Roadblock is the local broadcast television industry’s extension of NHTSA and the Ad Council’s Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving PSA campaign. Launched in December 2005, the multimedia campaign has received more than $410 million in donated media.


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