WASHINGTON, DC—College advertising students from across the country will gather this week to present competing entries for the launch of a social marketing campaign to fight the dangerous abuse of alcohol by college students – also known as “binge drinking.”  The National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) will be held in Arlington, Virginia June 4-5, 2009.  The students will present their campaigns to The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and the sponsor of this year’s competition.  This year’s competition is unique in that it is the first time participants will address a social issue to promote a positive behavioral change: the prevention of dangerous overconsumption of alcohol among college students.

The nation’s premier student advertising competition, NSAC showcases the talent and creativity of individuals who represent the future of the advertising industry.  Out of the more than 140 schools that participated in the district competitions this spring, 18 teams advanced to this week’s final round of competition where they will present their campaigns to executives representing The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, the Advertising Council, a nonprofit organization that marshals the pro bono resources of the advertising and media industries to create public service campaigns, and the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions.  Both the Ad Council and ACE assisted The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in developing the case study.

“The NSAC offered The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility the ability to gain insight from students on what would be an effective communications campaign to persuade the people they know best – their peers – to stop engaging in dangerous overconsumption of alcohol,” said Ralph Blackman, President & CEO of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.  “Because The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility stands firm on its commitment to the 21 year old drinking law, we remain committed to providing students, parents, administrators and the entire campus community with the educational resources they need to fight alcohol abuse on campus.   We appreciate the strong support of the Ad Council and ACE, and have been incredibly impressed by the passion and attitude the students have brought to this challenge.  We congratulate all of the competition’s participants and thank them for their hard work.”

“Our student members have worked diligently on these campaigns for the past 10 months, and they have learned lessons that they can put to use not only in their future careers but in their personal lives, as well,” said James Edmund Datri, president and CEO of the AAF.

The final round of the NSAC is part of the American Advertising Federation Conference 2009.   The winning team will be announced and present its campaign during the June 5 keynote luncheon.

The following finalists represent the AAF’s 15 districts.  Due to their size, AAF Districts 2 and 6 host two competitions and subsequently, send two teams to the national finals.

2009 NSAC Finalists

District 1 Johnson & Wales University
District 2 The George Washington University
District 2 Syracuse University
District 3 University of Virginia
District 4 Florida State University
District 5 Ohio University
District 6 Columbia College Chicago
District 6 Northwood University
District 7 The University of Alabama
District 8 University of Minnesota
District 9 University of Nebraska-Lincoln
District 10 Texas Tech University
District 11 Portland State University
District 12 The Art Center Design College-Tucson
District 13 Hawai'i Pacific University
District 14 University of California, Berkeley
District 15 Chapman University
Wild Card Texas Christian University

The AAF's education services division annually coordinates the NSAC in cooperation with a major corporation that serves as the competition sponsor.  The NSAC is unique in that it provides students with a superior educational experience, which prepares them for successful careers, and provides the sponsor with tangible, effective integrated marketing campaigns.  Each year industry leaders such as Experian Simmons Consumer Research, Getty Images, the Nielsen Company and SRDS donate resources to the competition, so students learn how to develop a campaign using the industry’s best tools.

For more information on NSAC and the AAF National Conference 2009, please visit http://www.aaf.org/conference

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
Launched in 1991, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a leader in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol.  For more information about The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and its initiatives, visit www.responsibility.org.

About the American Advertising Federation:
The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 40,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 214 college chapters, the AAF provides 7,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has nearly 100 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families. For more information, visit www.adcouncil.org.

The American Council on Education
Founded in 1918, The American Council on Education (ACE) is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. For more information, visit www.acenet.edu.  

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Matthew Harakal (202) 637-0077 or (202) 285-2377