By Eleftheria Parpis
The annual Stars of Madison Avenue luncheon honored four advertising clients for their humanitarian efforts this year. The "Good Will Is Good Business" event was held Sept. 21 at the Union League Club in New York, and the prizes were presented by the Advertising Club. The recipients were: Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, GE and Sears. This marked the third year the Ad Club has honored corporate-driven philanthropic efforts.
Microsoft was honored for Unlimited Potential, the umbrella for its programs with the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the Clinton Global Initiative, NetHope and Feeding America. "We're going to display [the award] prominently inside the hallways of Microsoft as a reminder that we need to continue to do good work both in the public and private sector," said Yusuf Mehdi (pictured), svp of Microsoft's Online Audience Business Group. "At Microsoft, we started with a vision of a computer in every home, and we believe that technology can be an amazing tool to drive social and economic development."
GE was recognized for its Developing Health Globally program, which provides access to quality healthcare in Africa, Asia and Latin America. "Our CEO, Jeff Immelt, has said in order to be a great company you need to be a good company," said Judy Hu, GE's global executive director of advertising and branding. "That thinking permeates everything we do."
Sears received its award for the Heroes at Home and Rebuilding Together efforts that help American soldiers readjust to civilian life through assistance in home improvement. "Our goal is to help deliver the American dream to us all," said Don Hamblen, chief marketing officer at Sears. "In the end, we all want a better life for ourselves and our families and there is no one that deserves a better life than these American heroes and their families."
Johnson & Johnson was recognized for the work it does to improve the lives of mothers and babies worldwide, including efforts through Mothers2Mothers, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Freedom of Breath/Fountain of Life Neonatal Resuscitation Program. "One of the pillars of our philanthropy programs is our undying commitment to make life-changing, lifesaving improvements to the world's most vulnerable and underserved: mothers and babies," said Brian Perkins, corporate vice president, corporate affairs at J&J.
Past Stars recipients include Bobby Shriver for (Product) Red and Unicef.