NEW PSAS WARN VOTERS ABOUT FAILURE TO FOCUS ON GUN VIOLENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Ladd Everitt, leveritt@csgv.org; Cell: (202) 701-7171

New PSAs Warn Voters About Failure to Focus on Gun Violence
Washington, DC−The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) released two hard-hitting public service announcements today to remind voters that each of us has a responsibility to enact common-sense gun laws in the United States. As the Coalition describes the PSAs, “Most Americans care about the issue of gun violence, but how many of us are making the issue of gun reform a priority when we head to the polls to cast votes for candidates for elected office?”

The PSAs were created by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, produced by Wondros and directed by Mark Pellington, a filmmaker whose features include “Arlington Road” and “Mothman Prophecies.” Pellington has also directed music videos for a number of global artists, including U2, Bruce Springsteen, Public Enemy, Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam.

“Gun violence is an issue that continues to pervade our society and impact us all,” said Kathy Delaney, Global Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. “When we saw an opportunity to use storytelling to raise awareness, educate, and spread a message of prevention, we went for it. We knew we had to appeal to people’s emotions and consciences in order to get them to feel something and do something about it. Hopefully this campaign will drive people to think about this issue and how they will vote in a new light.”

“I wanted to make pieces that could shake me, make me uncomfortable and accountable for my choices and actions; pieces that brought back the horror as we culturally become insulated to every new act of gun violence,” Pellington added. “My job as an artist is to create work that increases the dialogue and forces action from the soul. My heart bleeds for every family and friend left shattered by gun violence. As a single father, I feel responsible to protect my daughter and affect powerful change so she can live in a world without the fear of gun violence.”

The first PSA features a middle-aged African American man in a diner reading a newspaper story about the July 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. He looks down to find his hands covered with blood, which then drips onto his plate, and later, onto a ballot.

A second PSA shows young adults on a street corner checking their smart phones for updates on the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and other mass shootings. As they do so, droplets of blood appear on their screens and run down onto their hands.

During both PSAs, a voice-over reads:

You did not buy the guns.
You did not load the bullets.
You did not empty the chamber.
But you voted.
You voted for politicians that refuse to support common-sense gun laws.
Vote only for candidates who will fight to reduce gun violence.
The solution is in our hands.

The PSAs can be viewed at the following link: csgv.org/pledge.

CSGV has also launched an online petition in conjunction with the PSAs that asks Americans to “pledge to support only candidates who will fight to reduce gun violence.”

“We are sickened by the horrific gun violence we continue to see in this country, day in and day out,” said CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz. “Enough is enough. We must exercise our most sacred responsibility as citizens of a democratic republic and choose candidates based on whether they are committed to ending America’s epidemic of gun violence.”

The PSA will be distributed through the Coalition’s extensive social media network in concert with partners from across the gun violence prevention movement and the media and entertainment world. Spread the word and join the conversation at #VoteGunSafety.


About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV is composed of 47 national organizations working to reduce gun violence, including religious organizations, child welfare advocates, public health professionals, and social justice organizations. Web: www.csgv.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/CoalitionToStopGunViolence Twitter: @CSGV

About Mark Pellington
Mark Pellington is a filmmaker represented by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment. His socially conscious works include “Red Hot and Dance” (ABC) for AIDS awareness, “Father’s Daze,” (PBS) about Alzheimer’s, “Care,” (Kid Rock) on the social stigma of the economic recession, and a number of powerful PSAs. Web: http://www.markpellington.com Twitter: @MarkPellington Facebook: www.facebook.com/markpellington

About Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness is a fully integrated wellness agency. The agency handles integrated marketing for clients along the entire wellness. The agency provides a full-range of marketing solutions including advertising, digital, direct promotion and social marketing strategies. The agency was created to leverage the value of marketing wellness as a differentiator for healthcare, lifestyle, food and other brands. Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness is part of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, the largest healthcare communications network in the world. Web: http://www.saatchiwellness.com | Blog: http://www.saatchiwellness.com/articles

About Wondros
Wondros is a strategic consultancy and media production company. By channeling the skill sets of a coalition of filmmakers, producers and talent, Wondros creates content in the service of ideas that change culture.

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