Viamedia said it is offering free TV commercials as part of a grassroots campaign to help end racism using the hashtag #ChangeStartsRightHere.
The local-ad-sales provider is asking local business owners, minorities and law enforcement to create 15- and 30-second on-camera spots about how they are working together in their communities.
Viamedia will run approved messages as local public service announcements across cable TV channels in their local communities free of charge.
“Today, a long-overdue conversation is taking place across America, and the world. We should no longer sit idly by and wait for politicians to enact change,” said Mark Lieberman, president & CEO of Viamedia. “Viamedia’s goal is to create a nationwide grassroots campaign that engenders civil discourse, reminding all that change begins with each of us, at home around the dining room, and within our local communities. We cannot be afraid to use our voices to stand up and have a conversation. Change starts right here.”
Viamedia will share the call to action spots and the www.changestartsrighthere.com portal with other interested TV providers for free, whether they are Viamedia affiliates or not.
The campaign comes amid more than a week of demonstrations about race and police violence after George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. It is compounded because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost more than 100,000 lives in the U.S., left millions unemployed, closed businesses and depressed the TV ad market.
“Another senseless moment of violence toward the African American community has taken place in our country. This moment calls for all of us to do more. This is about human rights, about our towns, our businesses. And I’m inviting other video service providers to similarly use their platforms to provide a voice to those who feel threatened, unsafe and marginalized to join the conversation.”
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