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Digital billboard campaign timed with National Missing Children's Day

Date: May 26, 2016

Summary:
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Texas Center for the Missing and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc, participated in press events yesterday throughout major Texas markets to launch a new digital billboard campaign calling attention to the ongoing searches for local missing children, according to a press release from Clear Channel.

Body:
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Texas Center for the Missing and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc, participated in press events yesterday throughout major Texas markets to launch a new digital billboard campaign calling attention to the ongoing searches for local missing children, according to a press release from Clear Channel.

Some families of missing children, along with local law enforcement working these unsolved cases, spoke at the ress events throughout and urged the public to share any information they have regarding the disappearance or whereabouts of these children by calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Timed to begin with National Missing Children's Day, May 25, and running through June, CCOA will display images of missing children from Austin, Greenville, El Paso and Spring, Texas on the company's digital billboards across the state. This builds on last year's "Summer of Hope" initiative, a national digital out of-home campaign, that called attention to the plight of missing children and their families and reminded the public you "don't have to wait 24 hours to report a missing kid," the release said.    

The country is in the midst of a persistent missing and exploited children crisis nationwide, with the National Crime Information Center reporting more than 460,500 entries for missing children in 2015, on par with reports of missing children made to law enforcement in 2014. Specifically, the Texas Department of Public Safety Missing Persons Clearinghouse received 57,810 missing person reports in 2015, 46,121 of which were juveniles.

"Public safety, and child safety in particular, remains a core tenet of our corporate social responsibility efforts," said Michelle Costa, regional president of CCOA-Southern. "Our digital billboards have the ability to reach passersby in high-traffic areas as they are out and about. We hope our efforts can play a role in reuniting these children with their families."

According to NCMEC, photos are one of the most vital tools for law enforcement when searching for a missing child, and have the power to produce leads that can help law enforcement give families' answers and help safely recover children. The new billboard campaign enables NCMEC and TCM to reach a broad audience across Texas by distributing photos of missing children in targeted areas that can aid law enforcement with a search, according to the release.

"National Missing Children's day is an important day that signifies hope in finding our nation's missing children," said Nancy Rodill, acting executive director of the Texas Regional Office of the NCEMC. "We know that photos bring missing children home and we rely on our partners like Clear Channel Outdoor Americas to help us in our mission. We are grateful to them for the continued support to find missing children and helping to reunite them with their families."

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