Children's Defense Fund Unveils Fictional Presidential Campaign to Address Health Care Crisis

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602


Washington, D.C. — There are more than nine million children in the United States who are currently without health insurance, and the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) believes some of our elected officials are not doing enough to solve the problem. As a result, CDF today is announcing the launch of "Elect Susie," an integrated marketing campaign designed to build awareness for its legislative plan to provide all children in America with health insurance. One 10-year-old girl is delivering an ultimatum: Find a solution now, or she will take matters into her own hands by running for President.

"Elect Susie" is a fictional presidential political campaign aimed at opinion leaders, policy makers and the general public urging them get informed and take action now. Campaign elements will feature "Susie Flynn," a 10-year-old girl who intends to make everyone in America aware of the nine million uninsured children so they will no longer be ignored. Her political slogan: "9 million children need a solution now—in 2007."

"Children cannot take care of themselves, and they have no power to influence change," said CDF spokesman Neel Lattimore. "We knew that by creating a child who will stand up for the nine million uninsured children—going so far as to run for President—people may finally pay attention and start acting. 'Susie' is the champion representing those nine million voiceless children in desperate need of our help. She is the vehicle to help demand that our elected officials solve this crisis now."

Developed by Fallon Worldwide, a partner of CDF since 1986, the "Elect Susie" campaign features all of the traditional political campaign elements, including TV spots, print ads and out of home signs and posters. But in hopes of creating a more viral/pass-along effect, the traditional elements ask users to go online and visit There, users have the ability to gather additional facts about the issue, submit their own personal story, read the latest news headlines pertaining to healthcare, view pictures of "Susie" during her TV commercial shoot and download online banners and posters. In order to get people involved, "Susie" asks site visitors to sign an online petition for the nine million uninsured children.

"The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness and get the dialog started—by using a vehicle who will get people talking and acting now," said Fallon spokesperson Char Roseblade. "What better way to achieve this than by having a child act as the voice for the nine million children that do not have one? Adults and politicians should feel embarrassed that it takes a child to drive awareness and encourage involvement to solve this problem."

CDF is also offering a specially designed awareness pin to supporters of the cause. In the shape of an adhesive bandage, the pin’s design features the outline of nine children, one of whom is highlighted in pink and symbolizes the one in nine children in this country who is without health insurance.

The campaign will officially kick-off with a station domination in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, and the launch of the website. Television spots and print media will roll out in March.