Smokey Bear, the face of the longest-running PSA campaign in United States history, turned 75 this August, continuing his legacy of bringing awareness to unwanted, human-caused fires in America. Smokey Bear's wildfire prevention campaign has had a dramatic impact since its introduction in 1944, and this progress continues today, with an approximate 14 percent reduction in the average number of human-caused wildfires from 2011-2018, compared to the previous 10 years. While it's clear his work has been successful, 9 out of 10 wildfires are still caused by humans, which means Smokey's iconic message is as important as ever.
Outdoor and Smokey have a storied history. To see how Smokey’s image has evolved through the years, scroll through Clear Channel's vintage billboard collection dating back to the 1950s.
Distracted driving took the lives of 3,166 people in 2017. Research shows texting while driving increases the risk of a teen vehicle crash by 23 times, and is the leading cause of teen deaths. One in three teens who text said they have done so—while driving. This is why Clear Channel Outdoor has partnered with Project Yellow Light and the Ad Council for the fourth year in the effort to #StopTextsStopWrecks.
Project Yellow Light hosts an annual nationwide scholarship competition calling for students to create a TV, radio or billboard PSA to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded to those who create the most captivating PSAs promoting safe driving habits. This year, 2,709 students vied for the scholarship awards, a 69% increase from 2018!