We are excited about these new programs that will expand our national program that has been so successful in helping to bring missing children home.
Livonia, Mich., and Alexandria, Va. (Vocus) April 6, 2010
The United States has the fourth largest Hispanic population in the world. With approximately 45 million people, Hispanics represent around 15% of the U.S. population, which has led Valassis (NYSE: VCI), one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies to launch two new missing child efforts targeted at the Hispanic community. These initiatives were created in response to an interest The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) had to raise awareness about missing children from Hispanic communities.
The first initiative is a new Hispanic run of press (ROP) missing child newspaper alert. Valassis has an established relationship with EPMG, a company that specializes in diverse publications, and upon request from NCMEC, Valassis will work with EPMG to secure space in Hispanic publications to run information about a particular missing child case.
The second initiative is a new bilingual version of the RedPlum™ Shared Mail Wrap Have You Seen Me ® program. This initiative will offer a bilingual version of the traditional Shared Mail Wrap that features full color photos of missing children on the back. Key information will appear in both English and Spanish. The new bilingual Wraps will be distributed in 17 Hispanic Wrap zones, reaching over 2.5 million households with over 50% Hispanic population and at least 25% Spanish-speaking at home.
Valassis will be working with long-term partner NCMEC on the new initiatives that will help bring greater attention to Hispanic missing children including those who may have been taken out of the United States. According to NCMEC, of the cases reported to them between January 2005 and December 2009, approximately 19% involved Hispanic children.
“We are excited about these new programs that will expand our national program that has been so successful in helping to bring missing children home,” said Vince Giuliano, Valassis Senior Vice President, Government Relations. “This is a wonderful application of Valassis’ expertise and core targeting ability. We are happy to be able to provide this support to NCMEC in their search for America’s missing children.”
This year Valassis celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Have You Seen Me?® Program which was launched in 1985 in partnership with NCMEC and the United States Postal Service (USPS). The Have You Seen Me?® program is based on four goals: help find missing children; raise awareness about missing children and sensitivity to the issue of missing and exploited children; serve as a deterrent to would-be abductors; and make sure that no missing child is ever forgotten.
“In the search for a missing child, we always believe that there is someone out there with the one piece of information we need to bring that child home,” said Ernie Allen, NCMEC President and CEO. “That is why it is important that we reach as many people as possible with information about each child’s case. We don’t want language barriers to stop us from reaching the one person who has seen something. That is why we are excited about the new Valassis programs that will help get missing child photos and information directly into the Hispanic community.”
RedPlum reaches more Hispanic and Spanish-speaking households every week than any other media. Missing children are sometimes taken across the border and into Mexico, which presents special challenges for law enforcement. It is the hope that residents located in the Southwest and who travel to Mexico will pay particularly close attention to the photos in the new Hispanic version of RedPlum products.
Each week Valassis distributes pictures and information of missing children to more than 100 million households. Photographs are the No. 1 tool for law enforcement to recover a missing child, and photos provide much needed hope for searching families. The Have You Seen Me?® program is featured on the RedPlum Shared Mail Package, RedPlum free-standing insert (FSI) and on redplum.com.
Valassis is one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform -- in-home, in-store and in-motion. Through its interactive offering -- redplum.com -- consumers will find compelling national and local deals online. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan with approximately 7,000 associates in 28 states and eight countries, Valassis is widely recognized for its associate and corporate citizenship programs, including its America’s Looking for Its Missing Children® program. Valassis companies include Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Valassis Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, LLC and NCH Marketing Services, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.valassis.com or http://www.redplum.com . To learn about advertising opportunities with RedPlum, please call 1-800-437-0479.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 2,447,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 148,400 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 816,800 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 32,282,900 pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at http://www.missingkids.com .
Valassis Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements found in this document constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: price competition from our existing competitors; new competitors in any of our businesses; a shift in client preference for different promotional materials, strategies or coupon delivery methods, including, without limitation, as a result of declines in newspaper circulation; an unforeseen increase in paper or postal costs; changes which affect the businesses of our clients and lead to reduced sales promotion spending, including, without limitation, a decrease of marketing budgets which are generally discretionary in nature and easier to reduce in the short-term than other expenses; our substantial indebtedness, and ability to refinance such indebtedness, if necessary, and our ability to incur additional indebtedness, may affect our financial health; the financial condition, including bankruptcies, of our clients, suppliers, senior secured credit facility lenders or other counterparties; our ability to comply with or obtain modifications or waivers of the financial covenants contained in our debt documents; certain covenants in our debt documents could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility; ongoing disruptions in the credit markets that make it difficult for companies to secure financing; fluctuations in the amount, timing, pages, weight and kinds of advertising pieces from period to period, due to a change in our clients’ promotional needs, inventories and other factors; our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel may affect our business and results of operations; a rise in interest rates could increase our borrowing costs; we may be required to recognize additional impairment charges against goodwill and intangible assets in the future; court approval of the settlement agreement among the parties to the pending ADVO securities class action lawsuit; possible governmental regulation or litigation affecting aspects of our business; the credit and liquidity crisis in the financial markets could continue to affect our results of operations and financial condition; uncertainty in the application and interpretation of applicable state sales tax laws may expose us to additional sales tax liability; and general economic conditions, whether nationally, internationally, or in the market areas in which we conduct our business, including the adverse impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the marketing expenditures and activities of our clients and prospective clients as well as our vendors, with whom we rely on to provide us with quality materials at the right prices and in a timely manner. These and other risks and uncertainties related to our business are described in greater detail in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and the foregoing information should be read in conjunction with these filings. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications