Press Release

American Heart Association and Ad Council Team Up to Get Blood Pressure Down

New website and PSA campaign urge those living with hypertension to Check their high blood pressure, Change unhealthy behaviors and Control their blood pressure at a healthy level
American Heart Association and Ad Council Team Up to Get Blood Pressure Down

DALLAS, TX, June 12, 2014  — Americans with high blood pressure are about to get a strong dose of encouragement and a reminder of the grim consequences of the condition if left uncontrolled.

A new public service advertising (PSA) campaign from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, in partnership with the Ad Council, aims to increase awareness of the debilitating and potentially fatal consequences of living with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

The campaign was created pro bono by UWG, a New York-based multicultural advertising agency.

“There are 78 million adults living with high blood pressure in the United States, many who are not under the care of a physician or have not taken the steps to modify their lifestyles once diagnosed,” explains American Heart Association President Mariell Jessup, M.D. “This campaign is a wakeup call for those who are not aware that high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack and other potentially deadly health consequences if not managed properly.”

The multimedia campaign includes television, radio, print and web PSAs that depict the heart, fed up with the pressure it’s being put under, giving an ultimatum to the person living with high blood pressure to either take steps to change and get their blood pressure to a healthy range or it will quit.

At the new High Blood Pressure campaign website (heart.org/bloodpressure), the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association provide information, resources and tools to help people make healthier choices and control their blood pressure.

“While one in three Americans is suffering from high blood pressure, many don’t experience regular symptoms and don’t understand the urgency of the diagnosis,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO, Ad Council. “This campaign will aim to reach the millions of individuals who haven’t considered the potentially life-threatening effects and empower them to make take the appropriate steps to get their blood pressure under control.”

The campaign was informed by comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research conducted by Rapport Marketing Research, LLC and GC Metrics, Inc. These studies provided insights highlighting that while most people with high blood pressure are aware of their condition, actively managing their high blood pressure is often not a high priority and most believe they are already doing enough. However, the research showed that respondents were motivated by fear of the consequences of uncontrolled high blood pressure, such as stroke, heart attack, and death, and needed to be reminded to make daily management a priority.

The Ad Council has partnered with the and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for more than 12 years to create public service campaigns surrounding some of the most critical health issues in America, including cardiovascular health and stroke awareness. Following the Ad Council’s donated media model, the new PSAs will be distributed to 33,000 media outlets nationwide. The PSAs will run in advertising time and space donated by national media outlets.

About The Advertising Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich 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 effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit Adcouncil.org, like us onFacebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About UWG, Inc.
Founded in 1969, UWG, Inc., is the longest-standing, full-service, multicultural marketing agency in the United States. The agency continues to be a trendsetter, poised to connect forward-thinking brands to the nearly $3 trillion spending power of multicultural consumers, while pushing the envelope with innovative ideas and fresh solutions for the general market. UWG’s scope has expanded through a strategic alliance with WPP, one of the world's largest communications service groups. For more information, visit uwg.is.

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Media Contacts:
American Heart Association / American Stroke Association
Maggie Francis
maggie.francis@heart.org
214-706-1382
Meg Rushton
212-984-1996
mrushton@AdCouncil.org

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