Starting with Smokey Bear, the company’s signature PSAs have been become hallmarks of American culture—and effective change-drivers.

March 13, 2017
By Eillie Anzilotti

“Only you can prevent forest fires.” “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” “Love has no labels.” Over the course of its 75-year history, the Ad Council has coined phrases that have become so embedded in the American lexicon that many people probably drop them in conversation without even really knowing where they came from—just that they have an effect.

For the Ad Council, that lasting effect is the point. “We take on issues for the long haul, and because we can address them at scale, we’re really about creating a movement and not just focusing on something in the moment,” Lisa Sherman, the CEO of the Ad Council, tells Co.Exist.

The origins of the Ad Council trace back to 1942, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt convened the heads of major media organizations in Washington to enlist their help in creating advertising that would galvanize the country behind the war effort. “He had the foresight to understand the power of marketing and communications to have that kind of influence,” Sherman says. Victory Gardens came out of that campaign, as did the famous tag line, “lose lips sink ships.”

Continue reading here to learn more about the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful.