Cirlot ‘Believes’ in Mississippi

ATLANTA The Cirlot Agency wants to help change many of the negative stereotypes associated with Mississippi.

The independent shop in Jackson, Miss., has created 11 print public service announcements that it is distributing to newspapers and magazines nationwide. It also created a Web site and 22,000 posters that are being distributed to every public school in the state. Information about the campaign is being sent to prominent former Mississippians, including Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith and ABC Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts.

The campaign, whose tagline is “Mississippi, believe it!” features some of the state’s most prominent writers, athletes and medical breakthroughs.

Cirlot said it spent $100,000 in time and resources creating the campaign as “a gift to Mississippi.” Service Printers in Flowood, Miss., donated more than $20,000 in printing services and paper costs for the posters.

“All too often, Mississippi is only thought of regarding a short period in her history in which civil rights atrocities took place,” said Rick Looser, chief operating officer of the agency. “In many parts of the country, this is all Mississippi is known for and, unfortunately, this negative perception has greatly affected how Mississippi’s own citizens view their state.”

One ad states, “Yes, we can read. Some of us can even write,” and includes the names of Mississippi writers William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, John Grisham and Richard Wright.

Another ad declares, “Yes, we wear shoes. A few of us even wear cleats,” and mentions the names of National Football League stars Brett Favre, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Steve McNair.

The Web site,, allows visitors to add stories about the accomplishments of successful natives of the state.