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Pa.'s Message to Papas

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Just in time for National Fatherhood Week (June 11-17), the Neiman Group in Philadelphia has created a spot for the Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative urging fathers to spend time with their children.

For the $1 million-plus effort, which includes a TV spot, cinema slides and radio, the shop didn't want to shame dads into being with their kids, said Buffy McCoy-Kelly, associate creative director.

"The easiest thing to do would be to point fingers, or scare dads by showing them what bad things could happen if they don't spend an adequate amount of time with their children," she said. "We didn't feel like dads really wanted to listen to that."

Instead, the TV spot shows kids talking about what their fathers do during the day- -- going to work, going to the gym -- and what they promise they will do with them, such as reading a story.

"[The spot] has a bittersweet ambiguity to it," McCoy-Kelly said. "Are the dads actually going to [do] all the fun things they've promised? We leave the viewer with that question."

The spot, which breaks May 24 on Philadelphia cable and network stations, launches the initiative, an effort by Gov. Tom Ridge's office to promote fathers' involvement in their children's lives.