Campaign Launches to Educate People with Diabetes about the Importance of A1C
McCann Erickson New York Creates “Warning Signs” Campaign Pro Bono
NEW YORK, NY.—The Ad Council, the nation’s leading producer of public service advertisements (PSAs), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), are launching the first ever national public education campaign geared to raise awareness of A1C, a key indicator of diabetes management. The new campaign was unveiled today by the Ad Council, ADA and JDRF.
The unprecedented collaboration will educate Americans with diabetes on the critical importance of knowing their A1C. A1C is a test that measures a patient’s blood glucose level over the previous three months that might also help predict serious health complications like heart attack and stroke. People with diabetes must know their A1C level to manage diabetes, and the goal for most people with diabetes is to maintain a consistent A1C score of less than 7 percent. Unfortunately, many people do not know their A1C level. For example, a New York City Department of Health report found that in 2003 eighty-nine percent of patients with diabetes in New York City did not know their A1C level. National figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that 63 percent of all diabetes patients have A1C levels above 7 percent.
“We are proud to work with ADA and JDRF to increase awareness of A1C, and its importance in helping patients manage their diabetes and prevent diabetes-related complications,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “This unique campaign, with its simple and clear message, holds great promise to help Americans with diabetes successfully manage this potentially devastating disease and improve their quality of life.”
Created pro bono by McCann Erickson New York, the multimedia PSA campaign will aim to reach Americans with provocative television, radio, print, outdoor and Web messaging using a strategic “warning signs” approach. The central theme builds on the failure of life’s risks to come with warning signs, but for individuals with diabetes, A1C is a warning sign for out of control diabetes and complications like heart attacks and strokes. Recognizing the high incidence of diabetes among the Hispanic population the campaign will also use an integrated approach featuring Spanish-language messaging to reach the Hispanic community.
Diabetes is a major health issue in today’s society with deadly consequences. Nearly 21 million children and adults have diabetes. People can live for years with unmanaged diabetes causing irreparable damage that can lead to heart attack and stroke. An A1C test could have been their warning sign. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that diabetes when not properly managed increases the risk of kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage and amputations.
“Our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes,” said John Buse, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. “Today two out of three people with diabetes die of a heart attack or stroke. Increasing the awareness of A1C is one of the most important steps that we can take to help those living with diabetes.”
Paul Strumph, MD, Vice President of Research and Chief Medical Officer at JDRF adds, “Educating people with diabetes about the importance of knowing their A1C is essential in improving the short- and long-term outcomes of children and adults with diabetes, while we continue to search for a cure. Given the devastating complications that can result from diabetes, and the ability to reduce those risks by managing A1C levels, this campaign is launching at a pivotal time.”
Tom Boyer, Executive Director of the Diabetes Care Coalition, said, “We have been involved in educating people with diabetes about the importance of A1C awareness since 2005, and are excited about joining with the Ad Council to launch this vital campaign. The ultimate goal is to improve understanding of the role that A1C control plays in managing diabetes. The Diabetes Care Coalition hopes this campaign will help every person with diabetes strive to live with an A1C level that will reduce their risk of complications such as heart attack or stroke.”
The campaign will direct all audiences to visit a new interactive Web site and dial toll-free numbers to obtain information explaining the importance of talking to a healthcare provider about the A1C test and the role it can play in reducing the risk of diabetes complications. For more information about the A1C test or the campaign, call 1-877-TEST-A1C (1-877-837-8212) or visit www.diabetesA1C.org.
Said Joyce King Thomas, Chief Creative Officer of McCann Erickson NY, “Virtually everyone working on this pro bono effort knows someone with Type 2 diabetes--so our team was personally committed to helping people manage their condition in a more effective way.”
The campaign is made possible by educational grants from Abbott Diabetes Care Inc., Bayer HealthCare LLC, Diabetes Care, LifeScan, Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Novo Nordisk Inc., Roche Diagnostics Corporation and sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC.
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