By Bad Seed
Ragdoll USA and Autism Speaks to Promote Autism Awareness through Teletubbies Brand
Co-Branded PSA, Product Packaging and Retail Outreach to Provide Information and Resource Materials to Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers Campaign
NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 8, 2008) -- Ragdoll, award-winning producers of Teletubbies, has announced that its New York-based marketing and licensing arm, Ragdoll USA, will join with Autism Speaks to help promote awareness of the early warning signs of autism to parents and caregivers. The two organizations have agreed to jointly explore a range of initiatives, including the development of Teletubbies products designed to address the developmental needs of children with autism.
The co-branded initiatives will be introduced beginning this spring, coinciding with national Autism Awareness Month in April. A co-produced public service announcement (PSA) will air in April on the 24-hour preschool network, PBS KIDS Sprout, both on-air and online. In association with Autism Speaks and select manufacturers, Ragdoll will begin to develop a line of Teletubbies products that promote the development of skills in children with autism. Resource guides and informative product packaging will be created to drive awareness of the relationship and its important messages. Ragdoll has already incorporated information about autism in more than 100,000 Teletubbies Grandparents Guides, available in both English and Spanish. The guides are being distributed through local PBS stations and are also available online.
"Since Teletubbies first launched a decade ago, the parents and caregivers of many children with autism have shared with us their own stories of how their children uniquely connect with Teletubbies, and how remarkably they respond to the program," said Andrew Kerr, EVP, Global Licensing and Marketing, Ragdoll. "The strength of these testimonials has given us the inspiration to partner with Autism Speaks, and directly engage with those who live with the effects of autism every day."
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to spread our message of autism awareness through this relationship with the Teletubbies brand," said Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks. "For families with young children, the Teletubbies are a household staple. These are exactly the families Autism Speaks is trying to reach as we stress the importance of recognizing the early signs of autism and getting help if there are any concerns about a child's development."
Now celebrating its impressive ten-year history as a pop culture icon, Teletubbies continues to expand its roster of partners and fans. Ragdoll's relationship with Autism Speaks has expanded since the two worked together in 2007. As part of its Global 10-Year Celebration, the Teletubbies brand took on a new look -- a striking update on the classic Teletubbies styling designed with fashion-conscious tweens, teens and young adults in mind. A Pop-Up Shop selling and showcasing these and other 10-Year Celebration items was opened for a limited time last April, with proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks.