ANA ALLIANCE FOR FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT NAMES CO-CHAIR
Walmart executive to co-chair influential advertiser group that will shape the future of family content
New York, NY – (Oct. 27, 2009) – The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Alliance for Family Entertainment announced today the appointment of Ben Simon, director of Walmart Brand Marketing, as co-chair of the ANA Alliance. Simon replaces Carole Millsaps, formerly of FedEx Services, who resigned her co-chair position when she left the company earlier this year. Simon joins current AFE chairman Pat Gentile, general manager of Procter & Gamble Productions, in leading the Alliance.
The Alliance for Family Entertainment is a group of nearly 40 national advertisers, supported by the Association of National Advertisers, representing approximately 30 percent of all U.S. television advertising dollars. Its mission is to find, nurture, develop and support high-quality family content on multiple distribution platforms.
The co-chairs steer the Alliance, which is a key committee of the ANA, to determine the priorities for the group. Highlights of 2009 initiatives includes:
- Events: In June the ANA Alliance hosted its 5th annual entertainment symposium for marketers, writers, producers, content developers, entertainment executives and marketers. Participants met in Los Angeles to discuss the business efficacy and need for quality, family- friendly content.
- Research: The ANA Alliance released proprietary research which quantified that the context of programming has a significant impact on viewers' perceptions of advertising. Ad effectiveness increased 30 percent between placements on a family-oriented show versus placement on an adult-oriented show.
- Content Development: The group entered its first content partnership, teaming with Humanitas, the Hollywood organization that annually honors excellence in film and television writing by awarding its prestigious Humanitas Prize. The fund will be utilized to develop classic stories that uplift and entertain audiences, while inspiring and uniting humanity. Since the announcement, three concepts have been selected and sent to marketers to approve for development.
“I am delighted to have Ben join me to co-chair ANA Alliance activities,” said Gentile, AFE chairman. “The Alliance is dedicated to improving the lives of families by working to influence and create more family-oriented entertainment across multiple platforms. We have made significant strides since expanding the role of the organization in 2008 and are pleased to have Ben join the leadership to further advance our mission.”
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to have an increased voice in this group on behalf of Walmart,” said Simon. “Families, especially moms, play a key role in the future of entertainment. We recognize that her entertainment needs are not being met and are taking a lead role, working with network partners and content providers, to ensure a greater number of options exist in the marketplace. Serving moms and families in this way is part of our commitment to help our customers save money and live better.”
The ANA Alliance began (as the Family Friendly Programming Forum) more than a decade ago in 1998, when seven advertisers united to find solutions to the lack of primetime TV with multi-generational appeal. Members knew that relevant, quality programming that depicted the complex life of the changing American family and embodied responsible resolution to issues effectively spoke to their consumers. The group has played a role in bringing 20+ family primetime programs to air, including Friday Night Lights, Chuck, Everybody Hates Chris, 8 Simple Rules and Gilmore Girls. To ensure the success of future writers, the group has worked with several universities and granted students 58 scholarships. To continuously engage the entertainment community, the ANA Alliance has hosted five symposiums to keep a current dialogue about the importance of family entertainment in the evolving media landscape.
In 2008 the Forum expanded its mission and rebranded as the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment to reflect the transforming media industry and changes in American homes. The power of the collective group is committed to ensuring there are programming choices on broadcast/cable networks, Internet, mobile devices and gaming platforms, wherever consumers look for family entertainment.
The 2009 ANA Alliance member roster includes: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T Inc., Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra Foods , Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company, FedEx Services, General Mills, Inc., H&R Block, Inc., Hallmark Cards Inc., IBM Corporation, Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, Inc., Mars US, McCormick & Company, Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Nestle USA, PepsiCo, Inc., Pfizer Inc, Schering-Plough Corporation, State Farm Insurance, The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Inc., The J.M. Smucker Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, Tyson Foods, Inc., Unilever United States, Inc., Verizon Communications, Walmart Stores, Inc., Walgreen Company and Wendy's International, Inc.
About the ANA/ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA’s membership includes 350+ companies with 9,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit www.ana.net.
The Alliance for Family Entertainment is a group of nearly 40 national advertisers, supported by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), representing approximately 30% of all U.S. television advertising dollars. Its mission is to find, nurture, develop and support high quality content the entire family can enjoy on multiple distribution platforms. Since its inception (as the Family Friendly Programming Forum) more than a decade ago, the group has played a role in bringing 20+ family primetime programs to air, including Friday Night Lights, Chuck, Everybody Hates Chris, 8 Simple Rules and Gilmore Girls. The group has hosted five symposiums to keep a dialogue with the entertainment community and granted 58 scholarships to ensure that future content developers and writers understand marketers’ commitment to family entertainment. For more, visit www.anaafe.com.