Jennings Inspired Legacy Appeal

BOSTON Peter Jennings’ death on Aug. 7 from lung cancer inspired the American Legacy Foundation to create a print ad via Omnicom Group’s GSD&M appealing to smokers to get help, the client said.

Lung cancer and its effects have been spotlighted in news reports recently in response to the death of ABC’s longtime World News Tonight anchor Jennings and the lung cancer diagnosis of Dana Reeve, widow of the late actor Christopher Reeve. Those high-profile cases inspired Legacy to craft the stark monochrome execution, according to the foundation.

An ad breaking Friday in USA Today features white text against a black background. The copy reads: “You don’t need another lecture on the reasons to stop smoking. You need a game plan. That’s where we can help. The American Legacy Foundation is a national organization dedicated to preventing and reducing tobacco use. Working with state governments and various public and private partners, we can provide the tools and information to help you beat tobacco addiction.” The ad concludes: “To find out more about our programs, visit us at americanlegacy.org.”

The effort is tagged, “The question isn’t why to quit. It’s how.”

In addition to USA Today, the ad will run in local newspapers in select markets on Monday.

“In the very current news environment the devastating impact of smoking is being made more apparent to people and I think it’s causing some smokers to consider quitting,” said Joe Martyak, evp of marketing, communications and public policy at the foundation. “The point of this ad is to speak to those smokers who want to quit. It’s a simple message about creating a plan. This is part of the stepped up effort at Legacy to get the right message to smokers who want to quit. We hope to be doing more of this.”

Legacy last year spent about $70 million on ads and has spent $20 million through the first half of 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.

GSD&M in Austin, Texas, shares the business with Havas’ Arnold in Boston and MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami.