Markle Foundation Invests in Ad Council Campaign to Educate Families About Opportunities the Internet and Interactive Media Hold for Children | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Markle Foundation Invests in Ad Council Campaign to Educate Families About Opportunities the Internet and Interactive Media Hold for Children

Publication Date: March 2, 2000

NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation will commit $2-million to The Advertising Council over the next three years for a campaign to educate families about opportunities for children to learn and grow using the Internet and other interactive media, Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, and Peggy Conlon, President of the Ad Council, announced today.

The multimedia public education campaign will be the first of its kind to communicate the potential of interactive media to benefit children and to help parents make informed decisions about their children’s use of these new media. It will help parents identify positive interactive media resources, sites, and games for their children, and give them the tools they need to identify the best ways to use the Internet with their children as a tool for learning and fun. And it will help parents guide children to avoid inappropriate activities.

Markle Foundation President Zoë Baird said, “The potential of interactive media to benefit our children is extraordinary. But parents need the know-how and the tools to take advantage of it. This campaign allows us to give parents what they need and to involve them in shaping expectations for this media as it develops.”

Ad Council President Peggy Conlon said, “We are excited about having the Markle Foundation as the partner and sponsor of a campaign to educate parents about the amazing, positive potential the Internet holds for their children. The Markle Foundation is leading the charge in looking for ways to realize the potential of emerging communications tools to improve people’s lives. With Markle’s help, we will implement the first mass public education campaign to help parents make smart choices for their children in this new media environment.”

This three-year commitment by the Markle Foundation will fund research, underwrite a creative campaign conveying key messages to target audiences, place ads in a wide range of media nationally, and provide ongoing tracking and evaluation mechanisms. The Ad Council will work with newspapers, magazines, radio and television networks, and online sites—all of which will donate space or air time to this initiative—and advertising agencies. TBWA/Chiat Day will donate its creative services. The advertisements are scheduled to appear in the Fall of 2000.

This initiative is part of the Markle Foundation’s Interactive Media for Children program which works to gain in-depth knowledge about the potential and the impact of interactive media, and then to help incorporate this knowledge in the creation of children’s products and services. Markle’s Interactive Media for Children program is setting a national research agenda on how interactive media can contribute to the cognitive, emotional, physical and developmental needs of children and the potential of interactive technologies to meet them. The program includes work with key content producers and companies to integrate this knowledge into innovative games, toys and programs. In addition, the program studies parents’ evolving needs and concerns relative to the new media environment, and aims to create tools that they can use to make informed, responsible decisions for their children.



Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at

The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization that has been the leading producer of public service communication programs in the United States since 1942. It supports campaigns that benefit children, families and communities. The communications programs are national in scope and have generated strong, measurable results. Ad Council campaigns such as “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” “Take A Bite Out Of Crime,” and “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” have helped save lives and resources, educate the public about issues and concerns of the day, and make America a healthier country to live in. In 1998, Ad Council campaigns received more than $1 billion in donated print and electronic media time and space.