Merkley Creates New Gun Safety Ads

With gun violence in America reported nearly every day, the Ad Council is teaming with the National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance on a new public service campaign promoting gun safety.

Precise spending on the campaign isn’t available. The Council is in the process of reaching out to some 33,000 local and national media outlets to support the campaign. The Council’s average campaign has about $30 million in media behind it.

New York-based Merkley+Partners is handling creative chores for the gun safety campaign on a pro bono basis.

The groups behind the so-called “Lock It Up” campaign point to a study from the Rand Corporation using statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show about 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in ways that make them accessible to children, at-risk youth, potential thieves and “those who intend to harm themselves or others.” Already in 2014, the website reports, there have been nearly 125 mass shootings in the U.S. accounting for nearly 600 casualties.



“We teach all drivers to buckle up in case of accidents and to lock their cars,” said Ann Harkins, the NCPC’s President and CEO. “The same logic applies to this campaign--we want owners to lock up their firearms to prevent accidents and keep them out of the wrong hands. Safe storage ensures that owners are doing their part to increase public safety.”

The TV, radio, print, outdoor and online PSAs feature community voices calling on firearms owners to safely store their firearms. The ads end with the call–to–action, “Remember, Always... Lock It Up.” More campaign specifics can be found here.

“For more than thirty years, we’ve worked with NCPC to produce ads designed to prevent crime including gun–related violence,” said Ad Council President and CEO Peggy Conlon. “This campaign represents a powerful new extension of our efforts, and one that fosters a critical dialogue between adults about safe firearms storage.”

The campaign is the second to focus on gun safety in recent months. Earlier this year the non-profit gun safety organization Evolve launched a campaign (with pro bono help from Saatchi & Saatchi) with the tagline, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be a dumbass.” Evolve was created last year by Adland veteran Jon Bond and his wife Rebecca after the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy. 

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