Kate McCann – in her first official role as Ambassador of the charity Missing People – will launch the biggest digital billboard campaign in British history
Organised by the Outdoor Media Centre and produced by Grand Visual, this unprecedented campaign will see a network of billboards publicise people missing across the UK. The value of the advertising space donated by the outdoor advertising industry is estimated at over £1million, and the campaign is estimated to reach over 10 million adults during the summer months when – thanks to the Olympics – Britain will be at its busiest.

New ‘OpenLoop’ technology created by Grand Visual will allow staff and volunteers at the charity Missing People to update the appeals instantly to billboards, with details of the latest high risk individuals. The campaign will see appeals on donated digital billboards in major cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, running across rail and underground networks, on high streets and in shopping centres.

The advertisements will include details of individual missing people, creating awareness of the new number to call for sighting – 116 000 – and harnessing the public’s help to join the search.

Kate McCann, a new Ambassador for Missing People, said: “When your child goes missing you want the whole world to stop and join the search. Missing People, the Outdoor Media Centre and its members are providing an unprecedented opportunity to help safely reconnect missing children. More than 250,000 people are reported missing each year in the UK – worryingly they could fill the Olympic Stadium three times over. Thankfully, campaigns like this can play a vital part in the search. In May, two youngsters featured in the charity’s ‘Big Tweet for Missing Children’ were found safely. The search for Madeleine continues and I am delighted to lend my support as an Ambassador to this practical solution that gives hope to families like mine.”

Bill Wilson, Operations Director at the Outdoor Media Centre said: “Outdoor advertising is able to reach a mass audience again and again, so it’s really the perfect medium to help the authorities find some of the missing people, whose stories are so important but too often slip under the radar. The Outdoor Media Centre and our members feel strongly that we can make a difference to the hundreds of thousands of families who are living each day not knowing when they’ll see their loved ones again.”
Neil Morris, Founder and Managing Director of Grand Visual, the production and creative technology company supporting the campaign commented:“The Digital Out of Home market is now at a stage where it can really deliver on its key strengths - its ability to react in real-time with relevant copy to a broadcast audience. It is the perfect platform for the Missing People’s Initiative – allowing the charity to manage and deliver this impactful campaign from their desktop computer and publish it instantly to a nationwide audience.”