Media Companies Take It on the Chin, Donating Ad Space for Red Nose Day

Outfront Media donates 3D billboards

More than 30 media outlets have donated ad space for an initiative to combat childhood poverty, culminating in a three-hour Red Nose Day "fun-raiser" on NBC.

Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Jennifer Aniston, Neil Patrick Harris, Reese Witherspoon and 60 other stars have signed on for the special airing Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Outfront Media, the country's largest out-of-home company, has donated 3-D billboards complete with giant red noses in markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Miami. They also donated space on buses, subways, and digital bulletins and posters.

National radio time has also been donated to the cause, and more than 20 publishers—including Condé Nast, Time Inc., AOL, The Hollywood Reporter, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and TV Guide Magazine—have devoted space.

NBC puts the value of the donated media "in excess of $10 million." On Sunday, NBC's Matt Lauer leaves Boston for a 225-mile bike ride to Rockefeller Center. He'll arrive Thursday, just ahead of the benefit.

While it's new to the U.S., Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion in the U.K. since it started in 1988. The benefit on NBC will help 12 charity organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

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