NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2008 Ė The Advertising Council awarded advertising agency ArnoldNYC its Gold Bell Award for Creative Excellence on Wednesday for developing the "Think Before You Speak" campaign with GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. The campaign topped more than 50 Ad Council campaigns from the past year and was selected by the Campaign Review Committee of leading advertising executives.
"Arnold's work on the 'Think Before You Speak' campaign is both creatively brilliant and strategically compelling," said Priscilla Natkins, EVP, Director of Client Services at the Ad Council. "The agency took a potentially inflammatory subject matter and developed thoughtful inclusive communications that is truly resonating with teens nationwide. We delight in their success."
The Ad Council's first LGBT-themed campaign, unveiled last month, targets anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language among teenagers. It features humorous TV public service announcements that star Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes interrupting teenagers who use the term "thatís so gay."
Nearly 9 out of 10 of LGBT students (86.3%) experienced harassment at school because of their sexual orientation in the past year, according to GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey.
"We are deeply honored and thrilled that the Ad Council recognized the humorous but powerful campaign creative developed by ArnoldNYC in partnership with GLSEN," said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "We are deeply grateful to the Ad Council, Arnold NYC and the countless others who recognized the need for such a message of respect and tolerance."
The campaign is supported by the interactive website ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. that allows youth and educators to take action to ensure a safer and more welcoming environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
The campaign has received widespread media coverage, including The New York Times, ABCís "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," CNN, ABCís "Good Morning America" and Perezhilton.com. Bill OíReilly of FOX News' "The OíReilly Factor" even referred to Hilary Duff as a patriot for her work on the PSA.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSENís educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs, research, public education or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.