More MS news articles for Sep 2001

The T&O Group Debuts Integrated Pro Bono Campaign for the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Updated: Wed, Sep 26 8:20 AM EDT

IRVINE, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) - The T&O Group, a leading Orange County advertising, interactive and public relations agency, today announced it will provide its unique brand of integrated marketing communications called FUSION to the Orange County Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.

Multiple disciplines at T&O combined to develop a campaign specifically for the Orange County Chapter highlighting the agency's desire to educate and raise awareness of the debilitating effects of the disease.

Advertising Campaign

Dubbed "Imagine" the advertising campaign was launched in August 2001, consisting primarily of bus shelter posters in the Orange County area. Designed to catch the attention of those passing by, the slightly blurred text is also intended to demonstrate the effects of MS on an individual and their ability to function.

In each poster the word "Imagine" is in white on a black background followed by a statement in color such as, "...Not Knowing If You'll Be Able To Walk Her Down The Aisle" and "...Your Leg Falling Asleep Forever." Below the statements in white text is the phrase, "That's MS." The tagline created for the campaign, "Multiple Sclerosis. Once you know what it is, you'll want to help.", is followed by the MS logo and contact information.

Goals for the campaign are to educate people about MS, to eliminate the confusion between the disease and other diseases like muscular dystrophy and to inspire people to want to help. Radio and television spots are planned for future release.

"The agency has stepped up the initial campaign by creating a sense of urgency and the need for attention to multiple sclerosis," said John Most, executive vice president, partner of The T&O Group. "By observing and working with MS clients firsthand, the creative team was able to deliver an emotional and powerful campaign, that has garnered incredible praise from the chapter."

Public Relations Focus

The public relations effort will extend the educational component by focusing on event planning and directing media attention to the Orange County MS Chapter. Public relations contributions currently involve promoting the 2001 MS150 Bay to Bay Bike Tour October 6-7 and educating the public through the media. Public relations will also support activity to promote the MS Walk, slated for April 13-14, 2002. Additional goals include increasing the need for people to serve on the board of directors.

Interactive Effort

The agency's Interactive Division will redesign the chapter's Web site with a user-friendly design that incorporates a number of new features to help visitors understand what MS is and discover ways they can help. Visitors will be able to make secured contributions to the chapter and register for upcoming events as well as register to volunteer at chapter events.

The site redesign will be completed in October 2001 and will have capabilities to accept donations and volunteer help information for the MS Walk scheduled in April 2002. The site currently provides a list of community activities, attractions and establishments that accommodate MS clients and families.

"Multiple disciplines at T&O have combined to raise awareness and educate the public for an incredibly worthwhile cause -- the Orange County Chapter of the MS Society," continued Most. "Through focused communications and strong messaging across several mediums, we believe we can demonstrate what a devastating disease multiple sclerosis is and how important it is to focus efforts to find a cure."

About Orange County Chapter Of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society(R)

Multiple sclerosis, the number one neurological disease of young adults, is a chronic, disabling disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system. The progress, severity and specific symptoms, which range from numbness to paralysis and blindness, cannot be predicted. More than 3,000 people have this mysterious disease in Orange County, and some 400,000 nationwide. There is no known cause, cure or prevention for multiple sclerosis.

About The T&O Group

Specializing in consumer, high-tech and e-business marketing communications, The T&O Group is one of Orange County's largest entrepreneurial, owner-operated agencies.

With more than 50 employees and 2000 billings of $65 million, the company provides an integrated approach to marketing and communications programs. Major clients include National Association of REALTORS(R), Fantastic Sams, In-N-Out Burger,, Alta Dena, Pioneer New Media Technologies, Sempra Energy and TOSCO Marketing.

Expanding its global capabilities, The T&O Group is the Southern California shareholder of Worldwide Partners Inc., the world's largest strategic business network of multi-local entrepreneurial, owner-operated marketing and communications firms. In addition to his duties as president of The T&O Group, Steve O'Leary is chairman of Worldwide Partners.

For additional information, contact The T&O Group at 949/833-8006, or on the Internet at

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