Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
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Department of Justice Announces Partnership
with Ad Council and NCMEC In PSA Campaign

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced a Department of Justice partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and the Ad Council in a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of online child sexual exploitation. Part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, this series of ads will target teen girls with a message of protecting themselves by not posting images or information that might put them at risk for online victimization.

The sexual victimization of children - including child pornography offenses and enticement crimes - is a widespread problem in the United States. The Internet continues to provide new avenues for child predators to contact and groom their victims. According to “Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later,” a Department of Justice study, one in seven child Internet users has received sexual solicitations, one in three has been exposed to unwanted sexual material and one in 11 has been harassed. Also according to the study one in three child Internet users had communicated with someone that they did not know in person and one in nine formed close relationships with someone they met online.
“The existence of online predators is a very real threat for children using the Internet,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “This ad campaign will raise awareness to help safeguard against sexual exploitation and abuse by encouraging children to protect their identities and images when socializing online.”

“A recent survey shows a large increase in the proportion of youth posting personal information and pictures online so this is a timely campaign,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. "Our partnership with the Department of Justice will help us address this potential threat to kids by educating teens about how this activity could put them at risk for victimization.”

Developed in 2004 by NCMEC and the Ad Council with the pro-bono assistance of Merkley + Partners, the initial campaign, entitled “Help Delete Online Predators,” focused on educating parents about online sexual exploitation. The ads guided parents and guardians on what they can do to help protect their children from online predators and encouraged them to report sexual solicitations to NCMEC’s CyberTipline at The second series of PSAs, released in 2005, aimed to deter teen girls from forming online relationships with unfamiliar people by delivering the message, “Don’t Believe the Type.” The ads warned teen girls that online predators are skilled at manipulating teens into potentially exploitative and dangerous situations. Teens were also encouraged to visit to learn how to protect themselves and to report incidents.

Following the success of the previous campaigns in alerting both parents and children to the threat of online sexual exploitation, the new series of PSAs will be distributed in early 2007. The new campaign will continue to engage teenage Internet users with the message of protecting themselves online by not posting images or information that might put them at risk for victimization.

In February 2006, Attorney General Gonzales announced the creation of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), an initiative designed to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation through the Internet. PSC is intended to help law enforcement and community leaders develop a coordinated strategy to prevent, investigate and prosecute sexual predators, abusers and pornographers who target children.

In addition to partnering with NCMEC and the Ad Council, the Department of Justice has undertaken several other initiatives to achieve the goals of PSC. A primary focus of the project is to integrate federal, state and local law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases. This year, the Department of Justice awarded grants totaling $13,850,000 to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program, a national network of 46 regional task forces funded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs. Additionally, each U.S. Attorney has partnered with ICAC Task Forces that exist within his or her district and other federal, state and local law enforcement partners working in the district to implement PSC.

      The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
      NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC works to combat possession, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child prostitution and child sexual tourism; extra-familial child sexual molestation; unsolicited obscene material sent to a child; and misleading domain names. To date, NCMEC has handled more than 401,000 reports of these offenses from the public though its congressionally mandated CyberTipline, with more than 18,600 of those reports categorized as online enticement of children for sexual acts. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free 24 hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit

      The Advertising Council
      The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit

      Merkley + Partners
      Merkley + Partners ( is a leading full service, integrated marketing communications firm specializing in Consumer Advertising. Founded in 1993, M+P has 214 employees and manages over $500 million in client billing. Headquartered in New York City, clients include: Arby’s Restaurant Group, Citigroup, E-Loan, the Ferrero Company, Mercedes-Benz, Novartis and several others. M+P is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), a leading global marketing and communications company.