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Sony Creative Software, the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council Launch Cyberbullying Awareness Public Service Announcement Creation Contest
[September 11, 2007]

Sony Creative Software, the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council Launch Cyberbullying Awareness Public Service Announcement Creation Contest

MADISON, Wisc. --(Business Wire)-- Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio editing software applications, the Ad Council, and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) today announced a public service announcement (PSA) development contest to raise awareness of cyberbullying. The winning entries will air on national television in spring 2008 as part of the prize package, which also features Sony software applications and hardware valued at up to $25,000 USD.

Leading cyberbullying researchers Dr. Justin Patchin of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Dr. Sameer Hinduja of Florida Atlantic University have defined cyberbullying as "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text." Cyberbullies employ two major electronic devices to harass their victims from afar. First, using a personal computer a bully can send harassing emails or instant messages, post obscene, insulting and slanderous messages to online bulletin boards, or develop websites to promote and disseminate defamatory content. Second, harassing text messages can be sent to the victim via cellular phones. Dr. Patchin and Dr. Hinduja have found that the majority of bullying occurs in Internet chat rooms, through text messages or via email.

"Through our research we've come across many youth that have been hurt by online attacks," said Dr. Patchin. "We're very encouraged that a company like Sony has taken the initiative to step forward and create this unique campaign opportunity with the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council and hope that by shedding more light on this topic, more youth will realize the harm caused by bullying others online."

As an organization with deep roots in the creative and online community, Sony Creative Software is concerned about the Internet environment. Recent research has shown that at least one-third of youth have been bullied online, where perpetrators can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. By helping youth understand the effects their actions have on their peers, the cyberbullying PSA contest was developed by the organizers as a way for those creating multimedia content to leverage their talents in a way that contributes to the greater good of the online community.

"The World Wide Web allows us to share creative and entertaining content on demand, but it can also be used in ways harmful to others," said Dave Chaimson, vice president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software. "As a software developer whose products contribute to the development of online content, we felt that it is important to help raise awareness of the critical social issue of cyberbullying to help keep this public space safe for our children as they grow up online."

Judging the cyberbullying PSA contest are Dr. Patchin, acclaimed filmmakers Steve Oedekerk, producer/writer (Bruce Almighty, Barnyard and more) and Barry Sonnenfeld, producer/writer (Men in Black, Addams Family and more), as well as members of the Ad Council's Creative Review Committee, which is comprised of some of the best creative talents in American advertising. The Ad Council's CRC is responsible for approving the strategic and creative elements of all Ad Council campaigns prior to production.

"We are delighted to partner with Sony Creative Software to help extend this important message," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "Our research shows that the top school-related problem reported by kids 8 to 15 is bullying. And with the rapid rise in electronic communications, cyberbullying has become a serious issue. The cyberbullying prevention campaign targets 12 and 13-year-olds, particularly girls, urging them to put an end to the cyberbullying chain. Tweens and teens can be lured into such behavior because it takes place in a virtual world. In fact, because they don't realize the tangible consequences, some don't even recognize these hurtful actions as bullying."

"Online bullying can have the same debilitating effects on a young person as face-to-face bullying: depression, a drop in grades, loss of self-esteem, suicide and other violent acts," said NCPC President and CEO Alfonso E. Lenhardt. "NCPC is proud to partner with Sony Creative Software and the Ad Council on this important issue. We simply must put an end to this devastating problem."

Entrants to the cyberbullying PSA development contest will submit their video in either the professional or academic (K-12) categories by January 11, 2008. Contestants are encouraged, but not required, to use Sony Creative Software's leading video editing application, Vegas Pro 8 software, which was recently upgraded and launched at the IBC trade show earlier this month in Amsterdam. Initial entries will be submitted to Sony Creative Software on DVD accompanied by a backgrounder on the production and theme. If selected as a semi-finalist, contestants will then furnish broadcast-ready components for final judging. Full contest rules and regulations are available on the Sony Creative Software website.

One grand prize winner will be chosen from each category and awarded a prize package featuring a Sony VAIO laptop computer, Sony cameras, software and accessories worth more than $25,000 USD in addition to having the PSA aired on national television.

About Sony Creative Software

Sony Creative Software inspires artistic expression with its award-winning line of products for digital video, music, DVD, and audio production. As a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the company also develops applications that enhance the experience for users of Sony hardware devices. Sony Creative Software customers span the globe and include seasoned professionals in the film, television, video game, and recording industries, as well as students, educators, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. For more information, visit

About the Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit

About NCPC

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation's leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign -- symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog(R) and his "Take A Bite Out Of Crime(R)" slogan -- and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 400 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

Vegas is a trademark or registered trademark of Sony Creative Software Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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