in support of public service

Christopher Reeve extolled the virtues of public service and mentioned the often-comical vagaries of shooting commer cials as Saatchi & Saatchi looked back at its body of pro-bono work in New York last week.

Introduced with a video montage of his roles as an actor and advocate for spinal-injury research, Reeve lauded Saatchi’s public-service work, 30 years of which sat in lightboxes around him—from 1970’s “Pregnant Man” for the U.K.’s Health Education Council to a 1998 ad for the State of the World Forum with an astronaut holding a malnourished child next to the headline, “Does the world have its priorities straight?”

Reeve also recalled directing and starring in a McCann-Erickson ad for Johnson & Johnson. “I enjoyed directing that very much,” he said, “but the actor was out of control!”

He said he had no regrets about lending his face to a walking body in last year’s controversial Fallon spot for Nuveen investments. The ad, he said, reinforced a change in attitude about the treatment of spinal-cord injuries—from hopelessness to optimism. “That profound change in people’s thinking is a very positive thing,” he said. “That change was accomplished in 60 seconds.”

About 200 people attended the event, during which Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts accepted a corporate responsibility award from the Heart of America foundation.