The American Diabetes Association and the Ad Council launch PSAs

The American Diabetes Association and the Ad Council, working with the National Council of La Raza and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, are joining to launch a new series of national public service advertisements (PSAs) and online tools designed to raise awareness of the risks of uncontrolled diabetes and help those Americans with diabetes take the first steps toward staying healthy.

There are nearly 24 million children and adults in the currently living with diabetes and that population is growing at epidemic proportions, according to American Diabetes Association. One new case is diagnosed every 20 seconds in our country, and the disease and its complications kill one American every seven minutes. While those with diabetes are generally aware of complications associated with the disease, many are not aware of their true risk for certain deadly diabetes-related complications, such as heart attack and stroke.

"These PSAs are what we need to further educate people with diabetes about the deadly complications that can occur if one does not properly manage his or her disease," said R. Paul Robertson MD, president, Medicine and Science, American Diabetes Association.

The campaign aims to reach all Americans who have diabetes with a particular emphasis on African Americans and Hispanic Americans. According to the Association, African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than Caucasian Americans and Hispanic Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes.

Created pro bono by ad agency McCann Erickson and its McCann HumanCare unit in New York, the campaign includes new English and Spanish-language television, radio and web PSAs, as well as Spanish print and English-language outdoor PSAs.

The PSAs illustrate how serious complications of diabetes can arise suddenly and without warning, and encourage those with diabetes to proactively engage their health care providers in a conversation about understanding and managing their risk factors. The ads are an extension of the American Diabetes Association and Ad Council's national multimedia campaign, which first launched in 2007.

The campaign drives audiences to visit two new websites, www.diabetesactnow.org and www.diabetesactuaya.org