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KNOW HIV/AIDS Seeks to Normalize HIV Testing With Its Latest Message 'The KNOW Is Spreading'

Viacom and Kaiser Family Foundation's Initiative, Featuring Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Artist Common, Launches New Campaign Wave Across Multiple Platforms

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their Emmy and Peabody Award-winning public education initiative KNOW HIV/AIDS, Viacom Inc. and the Kaiser Family Foundation today announced "The Know Is Spreading," the latest wave of the campaign, which aims to normalize testing as part of routine health care. The new series will feature targeted television, radio and outdoor messages and an online marketing effort to encourage young people and those at higher risk for HIV to get tested. Since launching KNOW HIV/AIDS in January 2003, Viacom has committed $600 million in media value to the campaign, which includes public service announcements (PSAs) and storylines in popular television programming.

Working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the Miami-based ad agency, Viacom and Kaiser advance the campaign's emphasis on testing with "The Know Is Spreading" theme that underscores how information can spread faster than any disease, and asks those at risk to "know" their status. This latest effort enlisted The Barnstormers, a collective of young New York- and Tokyo-based artists, who used a city block in Philadelphia as a temporary canvas to create powerful artistic images, which serve as the essence of the new national PSAs and the new online component. With this latest wave, KNOW HIV/AIDS seeks to de-stigmatize testing by taking away the sense of fear so people can protect themselves or find the necessary care.

"One in four people living with HIV in the U.S. do not know that they are infected," said Matt James, Senior Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation. "Our hope is that KNOW HIV/AIDS will help raise awareness among young people at risk for HIV and encourage them to get tested."

In this latest wave, KNOW HIV/AIDS introduced two new elements that expand the scope of the campaign to date. In collaboration with the city of Philadelphia, KNOW HIV/AIDS transformed a city block into a giant HIV/AIDS awareness art installation, which is featured in the new television ads and on the new online effort. The Barnstormers, who paint in an urban, graffiti style, created the vibrant mural that spread over the streets, sidewalks, walls, subways and cars of the city to illustrate the power of knowledge about the epidemic spreading through a community and the importance of knowing one's HIV status. The Barnstormers worked with a group of young artists from the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. The campaign also includes Grammy Award- winning hip-hop artist Common, who contributed four original spoken word pieces for the radio PSAs and is featured in the television ads.

"HIV/AIDS continues to be a threat to the people of Philadelphia and across the country. My administration is dedicated to taking innovative steps to highlight the importance of testing to our citizens," said Mayor John Street of Philadelphia. "That's why we are proud to support this effort and build on this city's commitment to tackle HIV/AIDS and on its long tradition of public art. By teaming up with KNOW HIV/AIDS, we are able to spread knowledge about the disease, which will serve as our greatest defense against a growing epidemic."

Also, for the first time in the initiative's three-year history, KNOW HIV/AIDS launched an online marketing effort, www.spreadtheknow.com, which was made in conjunction with the Philadelphia mural installation and the latest round of PSAs. The site features various interactive content, including a virtual graffiti wall on which users can create their own art, similar to that of The Barnstormers. Users can also download screensavers, view behind-the- scenes video featuring special footage of the artists and interviews with Common, and "spread the know" themselves by forwarding the site to others. Most importantly, the site includes information about HIV/AIDS and an HIV testing center locator so users can find a testing site near them.

Common said, "I've witnessed firsthand the effects of HIV/AIDS and realized the difference self-love and support from the community can make. I also know how much of an influence we as hip-hop artists have on our audiences, so I wanted to share my self and my talents to help open the eyes and hearts of young people to the importance of testing."

The 12 new PSAs premiered today across Viacom's television, radio and outdoor properties nationwide. Also, this wave of PSAs marks the first time KNOW HIV/AIDS will utilize mall posters, in addition to other outdoor media formats. In its third year, KNOW HIV/AIDS has created a total of 123 PSAs that promote HIV/AIDS testing, prevention and awareness.

Carl D. Folta, Executive Vice President of Viacom, said, "The KNOW HIV/AIDS initiative continues to push boundaries creatively because we know how important it is to be innovative if we want to continue to make an impact. The creativity of Crispin and The Barnstormers, in combination with our powerful media brands, Kaiser's health expertise and Common's resonance with an important target audience, helps to ensure we remain relevant to those at risk."

The new PSAs (four television, four radio and four outdoor) are running across Viacom's broadcast networks CBS and UPN; cable networks MTV, Nick at Nite, VH1, BET, TV Land, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV and Showtime; and 178 Infinity Broadcasting radio stations, a majority of which are located in the top 50 markets. Both English and Spanish ads are displayed on billboard, bus and bus shelter advertising faces in the nation's largest markets. All of the PSAs are tagged with the campaign's website, www.knowhivaids.org, and hotline (1-866-344-KNOW) for those seeking more information.


KNOW HIV/AIDS combines the power of Viacom's media brands and unmatched audience relationships with the public health expertise of the Kaiser Family Foundation to foster awareness of the disease and its prevention. Every Viacom division is involved in the campaign, and 123 messages have aired to date, totaling $600 million in media value. Many of the PSAs are offered rights-free and cost-free to other television or radio networks. Additionally, Viacom properties, including CBS, UPN, MTV, BET, VH1 and Showtime, have produced more than 46 television shows with HIV/AIDS themes seen by millions worldwide. The campaign targets areas of the world where Viacom has a concentration of assets, especially the United States and Europe, and it partners with other companies to focus on regions most affected by the disease. Outside of the United States, KNOW HIV/AIDS is branded Staying Alive, building on MTV International's award-winning campaign of the same name, and encompasses the full range of Viacom's international properties.

Through a joint effort of KNOW HIV/AIDS and the BBC World Service Trust, messages in seven languages are broadcast to 60 million people in Africa and the Caribbean. In Russia, the campaign has teamed up with Gazprom-Media, Russia's largest private media holding, to help implement a cross-platform initiative on HIV/AIDS. KNOW HIV/AIDS is working in China with MTV and CCTV for a branded AIDS awareness campaign in the world's largest country.

About Viacom Inc.

Viacom is a leading global media company, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online. With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, music, and comedy. Viacom's well- known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, UPN, TV Land, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, King World, Spike TV, Showtime, Paramount Parks, and Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at www.viacom.com.

About The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media, and the general public. It is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. Information on HIV/AIDS is available at www.kff.org, and a daily news summary report on developments in HIV/AIDS is available on www.kaisernetwork.org, the Foundation's free health information service.

About Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Based in Miami, Crispin Porter + Bogusky's client list includes Burger King, Volkswagen, google, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Coke Zero and Sprite. In 2004, in an unprecedented sweep, CP+B became the world's most awarded agency by winning the Grand Prix at Cannes, an O'Toole award for overall creative excellence from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, as well as the grand prizes at the CLIOS, EFFIES, Kelly's, OBIES, APG awards and the One Show. The agency and its work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Fast Company, Time, Newsweek, Advertising Age, Creativity and Archive. This year CP+B was named "Agency of the Year" by both Advertising Age and Creativity Magazine.

Source: Viacom Inc.

CONTACT: Katie Kempner of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, +1-305-646-7366,
kkempner@cpbgroup.com; or Bernadette Simpao, +1-212-258-6722,
bernadette.simpao@viacom.com, or Imara Jones, +1-212-258-6363,
imara.jones@viacom.com, both of Viacom; Rob Graham, +1-650-854-9400 x237,
robg@kff.org, or Tina Hoff, +1-650-854-9400, ext. 210, thoff@kff.org, both of
Kaiser Family Foundation

Web site: http://www.viacom.com/

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