Henderson Promotes MLK Day in S.C. County

ATLANTA Henderson Advertising has spearheaded a pro bono campaign designed to promote Martin Luther King Jr. Day in its home county. The federal holiday, celebrated for the first time in 1986, is still not supported by Greenville County in South Carolina.

“We were kind of underwhelmed by the fact that there’s no holiday,” said J.J. Puryear, art director at the Greenville, S.C., agency.

Henderson creatives, together with associates at Altamont Marketing and TVP Productions, produced three 30-second spots, hoping to convince county officials to recognize the day with a paid holiday for county employees.

Puryear said the PSAs, which feature news clips of King, have aired on cable. The team wants to raise at least $20,000 to buy time on Democratic debates airing Jan. 29 on MSNBC and NBC affiliates.

“Through these ads we want to bring the issue back onto the table and promote a paid holiday that honors Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Henderson executive creative director Andy Mendelsohn.

All three ads equate non-support of a paid county MLK holiday with an unenlightened community. One ad shows footage of King’s 1963 “I have a dream” speech, but his words are played back in reverse. The spot ends with the tagline, “Let’s stop moving backwards.”

Another spot reminds viewers that cities such as Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn., historically known for treating Martin Luther King with violence and disdain, now recognize the holiday. The third ad points out that some of the most conservative politicians, including Ronald Reagan and Strom Thurmond, have supported a paid MLK holiday.