For the first time ever the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched an outdoor advertising campaign highlighting the plight of children with HIV/AIDS.
The campaign, a joint effort of the UNICEF and Clear Channel Outdoor, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, aims to raise awareness and funds to fight the impact of HIV/AIDS on children.
It is the intention of the global outdoor advertising venture to focus attention on the hundreds of millions of children who are orphaned or left vulnerable because of HIV/AIDS every year, while also raising the funds to help them.
Ann Veneman, executive Director of UNICEF, said at the campaign’s launch in New York, that the children are watching their hopes and dreams crumble, as parents, teachers, caregivers and role models die from AIDS.
UNICEF estimates that as many as fifteen million children have already lost parents to the disease, yet only 10 per cent get public support or aid.
Although each year, some 600,000 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV/AIDS, and of those, 500,000 will die as a result, only 5 per cent of HIV-positive children have access to treatment, and only 10 per cent of pregnant women have access to services that can prevent transmission to their children.
Paul Meyer, Global President of Clear Channel Outdoor, said at the launch that outdoor displays are very effective at grabbing people’s attention.
With him were UN Goodwill Ambassadors Whoopi Goldberg and Sir Roger Moore, and HIV-positive Muppet from Takalani Sesame, Kami, who unveiled the campaign.
It seems Kami appears regularly on the South African version of Sesame Street.
A simultaneous launch was held in London by UNICEF, U.K President, Lord Puttnam and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Lord Richard Attenborough, and in Johannesburg with South African artist, Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
The campaign will consist of poster ads in 50 countries, and represents the first part of the agency’s global campaign, “Unite for Children, Unite Against HIV”.
The ads will appear in November and were provided by Bester Burke, an agency in Cape Town, South Africa, who won the account after competing with 300 other entries from around the world.
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD