Bullying has became a front page issue, with high-profile cases drawing attention to often tragic results. The Ad Council is joining the chorus of anti-bullying voices with
a new campaign intended to empower parents to talk to their children about ways they can help prevent bullying.
Noting that 80% of high school students say they witness bullying at least once a week, while over one in four children reports being bullied themselves, the Ad Council is encouraging parents to “teach your kids how to be more than a bystander,” as the campaign tagline puts it.
Research by social psychologists suggests that bullies are most likely to stop bullying behaviors when their peer group states that it is unacceptable and confronts
them about their behaviors.
The campaign’s public service announcements were created for the Ad Council by DDB New York and filmmaker Lee Hirsch, who directed the film "Bully" and founded an associated anti-bullying organization, The Bully Project.
The campaign is receiving support from AOL, Facebook and Johnson & Johnson, along with the Free to Be Foundation
and Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention; the U.S. Department of Education; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Carat; Communispace; the MLB Network; the National PTA; Univision; CNN;
and Cartoon Network.
The PSAs include ads designed for TV radio, print, and online, which are running nationwide on donated media space during October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month. They direct parents to a national anti-bullying Web site, stopbullying.gov, as well as the Stop Bullying Facebook page.
One PSA featuring CNN host Anderson Cooper is running on CNN. Other ads feature MLB Network host Brian Kenny and baseball stars and current MLB Network analysts Sean Casey and Dan Plesac encouraging parents to speak to their children about bullying. The campaign also includes Spanish-language spots, which will run on Univision’s TV, radio, and online properties.