For Kids’ Sake

Advertising is credited with boosting sales, creating brands and now helping to recover missing children.

In 1985, direct mail giant Advo Systems in Windsor, Conn., formed a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to assist with finding missing children. Each week, the company sends its familiar ‘Have You Seen Me?’ cards with advertising on the back to 73 million homes nationwide.

Sometimes, the cards really work. On March 26, 14-year-old Jedd Rivera was recovered in Mississippi nearly three years after he was abducted from his California home. Authorities were contacted by a local nurse who recognized the boy after receiving a mailer.

Rivera is the 84th child recovered since the partnership’s inception, according to Vince Giuliano, Advo’s senior vice president of government relations.

‘The national center is very particular about giving us credit,’ Giuliano noted.

‘Interest from consumers hasn’t subsided from the day we started,’ he said. ‘People are calling and telling us the value they place on the mailers. The message is that these programs work and children are being found.’

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