The Advertising Council Inc. has released the first national ad campaign to drive online and telephone traffic for primary immunodeficiency, a genetic condition caused by a defect in the immune system.
Created pro bono by New York ad agency Margeotes Fertitta + Partners, the public service effort covers print, radio and television for media distribution. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation, which is dedicated to the early and precise diagnosis of PI, sponsored the production and distribution costs.
“There's a major lack of awareness among parents and doctors about PI,” said Ellyn Fisher, spokeswoman for the Ad Council, New York. “I believe this campaign will go a long way in creating awareness if the public service ads are supported by the media.”
PI affects more than 500,000 children and young adults in the United States. Another 500,000 in this age group may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The condition is said to be more prevalent than childhood leukemia and lymphoma combined, with four times more cases than cystic fibrosis.
The site at www.info4pi.org and 866/INFO-4-PI reports that failure to diagnose PI early can lead to chronic illness, permanent organ damage or death. A blood test can identify more than 95 percent of PI conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the condition.
All these issues are reflected in the ads that will run in donated media time and space. The ads note that recurring or chronic illness is a warning sign of PI. Parents are encouraged to gather more information on the condition.