Press Release

Ad Council & Connect2Compete Launch Nationwide PSA Campaign to Increase Digital Literacy for 62 Million Americans

“EveryoneOn” Campaign Created Pro Bono by Y&R to Connect Americans with Free Digital Skills Classes in more than 21,000 Libraries and Training Centers

Washington, D.C., March 21, 2013 - More than a fifth of American adults-approximately 62 million people-consider themselves non-users of the Internet, while 46% of non-users report that they lack the necessary skills. Today, the Ad Council and nonprofit Connect2Compete announce a nationwide multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign created pro bono by Y&R NYC, EveryoneOn, designed to help all Americans access free digital literacy training in their communities.

"The costs of digital exclusion -of not having access to Internet at home- are rising every day," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "Offline Americans are missing out on opportunities in education, health care, and employment. I applaud the "Everyone On" campaign to onboard the millions of Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide and deliver the digital literacy skills required to succeed in today's economy."

Today, more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies post their job openings online only and require online applications. Fifty percent of today's jobs require technology skills, and this percentage is expected to grow to 77% in the next decade.

Through a nationwide network of partners, the new campaign offers access to digital literacy programs in more than 21,000 libraries and training centers. The programs will provide people the opportunity to learn basic skills such as how to use a computer or navigate the web and take actions like preparing and uploading an online resume or processing a basic Internet transaction in order to gain access to vital online resources and be full participants in today's social and economic mainstream.

"The costs of the digital divide are clear and documented," said Zach Leverenz, CEO of Connect2Compete. "Our goal is to help overcome the barriers to adoption, including lack of perceived relevancy and the need for basic digital literacy skills, in order to ensure that all Americans have the tools they need to compete in the digital economy, regardless of age, race, geography, income or education level."

Developed pro bono by Y&R NYC, the campaign includes television, radio, and digital (mobile and Web) advertisements, as well as a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, to drive people to learn more at EveryoneOn.org, or through the 1-855-EVRY1ON help line. Consumers can also visit www.EveryoneOn.org, developed by VML, which includes a zip code locator tool to find free digital literacy training classes and links to best-in-class online training resources. Information will be available in English and Spanish.

"EveryoneOn will raise national awareness about the importance of digital literacy and help reach the more than 60 million Americans who aren't meaningfully engaged online," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "The start of this movement today, on 3-2-1, is only the beginning and we're using social media and digital strategies to collect and share personal stories that will show the life-changing impact of the Internet on our lives."

Earlier this month, the Ad Council secured commitments from AOL, Facebook and Monster.com to recruit those that are digital savvy to join the EveryoneOn Facebook community which will support the campaign's key target audience, those that do not currently have digital literacy skills. Monster.com donated 17 million impressions for ads on their site specifically geared towards people who can share the benefits of job searching online with people in their lives. AOL donated ad support on their sign-in page and cause module. Furthermore, Facebook donated ads and SHIFT's platform helped engage nearly 10,000 people to join the community in less than three weeks. Additionally, Motrixi and Millennial will be providing mobile banner support for the campaign.

"This is such a great, timely cause to join, and we're so proud to have been given the opportunity to play a part," said Jim Elliott, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R NYC. "For so many of us, the online world is such an ingrained part of our daily routine that we sometimes forget what a powerful force for good and betterment it can be. This campaign is about helping a whole new group of people experience that same, thrilling "aha!" online moment born in the early 90's when the Internet was starting to really come to life. The Internet is this infinite wellspring of discovery, and to help turn people on to that truth has become a deeply rewarding experience for the entire team."

More than 70 partners including the Knight Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation, Monster.com, Solix and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have joined the campaign to aggregate digital skills training opportunities and programs.

The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs to media outlets nationwide and they will run in time and space entirely donated by the media. For more information on the campaign and a list of free digital skills training opportunities in your area, call 1-855-EVRY1ON, text "Connect" to 30364, or visit EveryoneOn.org.

 

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Connect2Compete

Connect2Compete (C2C) is a national nonprofit that aims to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers, and free digital literacy accessible to all unconnected Americans. Technology and digital skills are essential to ensure future generations can compete in the global economy and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. C2C aims to leverage the democratizing power of the Internet to provide opportunity to all Americans - regardless of age, race, geography, income, or education level. For more information, please visit www.Connect2Compete.org.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 70-year history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. For more information, please visit www.adcouncil.org. You can also visit www.facebook.com/adcouncil or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Y&R

Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies. It is made up of the iconic Y&R Advertising agency and VML, one of the most highly regarded and fastest-growing digital agencies in the world. Y&R has also integrated iconmobile, market leader in mobile business solutions and mobile marketing, into VML. Y&R also includes specialized companies in every region, such as Bravo, Kang & Lee, SicolaMartin, Banner, to name just a few, as well as global marketing practices, such as Tech.YR and Y&R Sports Group. Y&R's founder, Raymond Rubicam, believed that the company's mission was to Resist the Usual on behalf of our clients. Today, that is kept alive by melding top-flight creativity with innovation to create new consumer experiences. Y&R's largest agency, Y&R Advertising, has 186 offices in 90 countries around the world, with clients that include, Campbell's Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Virgin Atlantic, Xerox, Revlon, GAP, Land Rover, LG and Telefonica, among many others.

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