iHeartMedia, WPP and Fors Marsh Group announced on Tuesday (Sept. 25) that they will be joining forces to create the National Opioid Action Coalition (NOAC). This new initiative is designed to bring local, state and federal efforts together to eliminate the stigma surrounding opioid addiction that often acts as a barrier to prevention, treatment and recovery. NOAC will support these efforts by elevating the conversation around that stigma.
WPP will be responsible for creating a series of public service announcements for NOAC through state governments. NOAC is also in the beta-testing phase of creating an app to allow people that encounter overdoses to quickly locate and receive naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug.
“This is an epidemic that is impacting families and individuals across America, and we want to harness our national reach to expand awareness, prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in communities across the country — and highlight local, state and federal government resources that are available to those fighting against this epidemic,” iHeartMedia chairman/CEO Bob Pittman in a statement.
Added WPP CEO Mark Read, “WPP’s operating companies have been involved in battling the opioid crisis on an ad hoc basis for some time. NOAC formalizes our efforts and demonstrates our commitment to help spark a national conversation about the stigma of opioid addiction and inspire more companies to bring the weight of their brands to help combat one of the greatest public health epidemics in the US.”
NOAC will hold its first event during New York City’s Advertising Week on Oct. 3.