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Valassis launches new hispanic missing child initiatives

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Livonia, Mich., and Alexandria, Va - 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.




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