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The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Reveal ‘It’s Up To You’ Campaigns to Educate Millions of Americans about COVID-19 Vaccines

The Ad Council

-- Major brands, media companies, community-based organizations, faith leaders and other trusted messengers to extend reach of message across all channels with a focus on Black and Hispanic communities, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic -- NEW YORK, NY, February 25, 2021 – (LATINX NEWSWIRE) - The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative today revealed the platform for their COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, “It’s Up To You.” Representing one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history, more than 300 major brands, media companies, community-based organizations, faith leaders, medical experts and other trusted messengers are supporting the campaigns designed to reach distinct audiences. These partners include Adobe, Apple, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Black Information Network, Facebook, FOX Entertainment, Google/YouTube, iHeartMedia, John Leguizamo, NAACP, NBCUniversal, Pandora/SiriusXM/SoundCloud, Sanjay Gupta, Telemundo, UnidosUS, ViacomCBS and more. Created in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ensuring all “It’s Up To You” messaging is rigorously vetted and backed by science, the campaigns urge audiences to visit ( in Spanish) to get the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, with the ultimate goal of helping the public feel confident and prepared to get vaccinated once a vaccine is available to them. “With the ‘It’s Up To You’ platform, we’re listening to America’s top questions, understanding their concerns and working to educate and empower people across the country – particularly communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – so they can make an informed choice about vaccination for themselves and for their families,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our extraordinary partners across the communications industry are uniquely positioned to amplify these critical messages at scale. Through this truly unprecedented effort, we can get back to the moments we all miss and save lives.” Ad Council research fielded by Ipsos Public Affairs in February 2021 reveals that approximately 40% of the public have not yet made a firm decision to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines are available to them. Additionally, the data illustrates the need for a bespoke effort reaching communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and where there is considerable distrust in the government and medical community and high hesitancy toward the vaccines. The Ad Council’s research shows that Black and Hispanic Americans who are undecided are significantly less confident they have enough information to guide their decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to those intending to get vaccinated. Approximately three-quarters of consumers who are undecided say they want information to address their questions about the vaccines, even if vaccines are not yet available to them. The CDC brand will be seen on select creative assets and, along with HHS, the CDC is providing scientific guidance on all aspects of the campaign. COVID Collaborative is lending insights from its scientific experts to the effort, engaging many members of its collaborative who represent the diversity of the country to help with dissemination, and connecting the campaign to Governors and other leaders in states. “Public education is a critical component of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic — it is a shared effort to empower people to protect themselves, especially those in disproportionally burdened populations,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky. “Just as we are taking action to address the inequities this pandemic laid bare, we need a concerted approach to bring an end to the pandemic and to leverage the lessons learned during COVID-19 to achieve optimal health for all.” To reach vaccine hesitant individuals across the country, creative agency Pereira O’Dell worked pro bono to develop the creative platform, “It’s Up To You.” Taking an empathetic approach that reaffirms that it’s understandable to have questions about the vaccines, “It’s Up To You” conveys that one of the best ways to get back to the moments and people we miss is by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Agency JOY Collective has also worked to adapt the “It’s Up To You” platform with content specifically developed to reach and resonate with the Black communities. The strategic framework underpinning the “It’s Up To You” platform, normalizing hesitancy and answering important questions, was developed by BeenThereDoneThat. Creative assets in English and Spanish will appear nationwide across broadcast TV, digital, radio and social media beginning this week. Additional work will also roll out over the coming weeks, including content developed by modern culture marketing agency Alma, which customized the creative platform to produce “De Ti Depende,” a campaign designed to resonate with Hispanic communities in the U.S. Registration is also now open for a special edition of Hispanicize on March 12 featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, Beto Perez, John Leguizamo, Karen Martinez, Luis Guzman and others. “This is not only the most important campaign of our generation, but it needs to be the largest too,” said PJ Pereira, Creative Chairman, Pereira O’Dell. “It had to be an idea that worked not only for the audience, but allowed for brands and publishers to make it theirs, too.” VIDEO: “As a Black and woman-owned agency, we are proud to partner with the Ad Council to lead the campaign efforts within the Black community. With a multifaceted creative, digital, social, events and grassroots campaign focused on educating the Black community in a credible, culturally relevant way, while inspiring them to ‘get back to’ we all miss so much. Our goal is to help the Black community get the facts, despite their inherent distrust in the government and medical community, and help them make an informed decision about COVID-19 vaccines” said Kelli Richardson Lawson, CEO, JOY Collective. VIDEO: Additionally, the initiative has partnered with JOY Collective and CIEN+ to collaborate with a wide range of organizations to inform the development and distribution of culturally resonant content for Black and Hispanic audiences, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have lower vaccine confidence. Providing valuable tools and resources, events, and point-of-care and point-of-purchase educational materials for communities of color, these partners include the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 (BCAC), NAACP, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Urban League, UnidosUS, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and others. To kick off the initiative, the Ad Council is partnering with the NAACP to host UNMASKED: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series on February 25 at 8pm ET where leading policy makers, researchers and medical experts will share the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, treatments, and vaccine education. ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent Deborah Roberts will moderate the program, which will feature NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, Dr. Cameron Webb (member of the Biden Advisory Board for Coronavirus), Dr. Reed Tuckson (Founding Member and CEO of the Black Coalition Against COVID-19), and Dr. Chris Pernell (Public Health physician). In collaboration with Values Partnerships, the initiative has also developed a comprehensive strategy to engage the faith community and has established a National Faith Steering Committee to inform efforts, participate in campaign content and events, and help disseminate educational resources. This committee includes major national faith-based organizations and over 20 highly influential faith leaders across the Black and Hispanic faith communities, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Rev. Dr. Gabriel & Rev. Jeanette Salguero, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Rev. Enid Almanzar, Rev. John K. Jenkins, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Dr. Walter Kim and more. The initiative includes a PSA developed by JOY Collective and Values Partnerships and a national vaccine education event, specially developed for the Black and Hispanic faith communities, which will be on March 9 at 7pm ET. The event will feature Bishop T. D. Jakes and other steering committee members in addition to medical experts and other special guests. In addition, the Ad Council is also collaborating with Choose Health Life (CHL) – a sustainable, scalable and transferable approach to address public health disparities in the Black Community centered around the Black church. “COVID-19 is one of the most significant challenges we have faced as a faith community, but there is hope,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes. “We have vaccines that are effective and we have an across-the-board commitment in the faith community to ensure that all Americans are informed with accurate up to date information that will assist in the critical decisions that insure healthy outcomes. I am pleased to partner with the Ad Council and fellow clergy in this effort and am optimistic about what God is doing through the medical community and what he will do through this campaign.” VIDEO: Leading brands, media companies and social platforms and services are developing custom content and donating media to extend the “It’s Up To You” message, connecting their audiences with crucial and vetted information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Partners include: -- Adobe will work with their diverse and extensive creator community as a Founding Partner to commission artwork for the “It’s Up to You” campaign to connect with underrepresented groups. -- Apple is a Founding Partner of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative. As part of its commitment to health, Apple will help the Ad Council keep customers informed about the benefits of the vaccine through its services, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple News, and more. -- BET is supporting the effort by creating a BET News COVID-19 special and leveraging its platforms to promote and live stream the initiative’s event with NAACP, UNMASKED: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall. -- BIN: Black Information Network is launching “It’s Up To You” Vaccine Education Week and will provide a week of dedicated programming designed to spark meaningful conversation fueled by trusted news and information within Black communities. -- Complex Networks will be developing custom content for Ad Council’s “It’s Up To You” COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative which will reach Complex Networks' 70 million+ (monthly) multicultural audience who share a passion for what's now and next in music, sneakers, style, pop culture, and beyond. They will also be donating media to support these assets across Complex Networks’ properties. -- Disney will leverage resources across a variety of its platforms (ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX, Hulu, National Geographic) to support “It’s Up To You” PSAs. -- Facebook is donating production for an in-market messaging campaign with a suite of creative assets that will run across Facebook and Instagram and provide donated media throughout the campaign. Additionally, a Founding Partner of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education initiative, this support is part of Facebook’s commitment to running a worldwide campaign to promote authoritative COVID-19 vaccine information. -- FOX will leverage top-tier talent to create a series of “It’s Up To You” PSAs and donate media inventory across its stable of entertainment, sports and news platforms. -- Google/YouTube, in addition to being a Founding Partner, is integrating the Ad Council’s vaccine campaign into their larger "Get the Facts" COVID-19 vaccine marketing efforts. Google/YouTube is also making concerted efforts to support the Ad Council's industry movement, providing advertisers with bespoke support, insights & resources to scale their message using Google and YouTube platforms and tools. -- Holler is producing “It’s Up To You” content to run in donated conversational media. -- IBM Watson Advertising is contributing its AI creative technology, Accelerator, to provide research insights, creating digital banner content for this testing and donating media across its and The Weather Channel app properties. -- iHeartMedia is providing the campaign’s official suite of English and Spanish audio assets that will be made available for other audio companies to use across their platforms beginning today. Through audio, the iHeart-created PSAs vividly bring to life the “It’s Up To You” campaign and encourage the public to get the facts to make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccine. -- LinkedIn is advising the Ad Council on creative and media targeting strategies for COVID-19 vaccine ads to help companies reach the right audiences with the information needed to have informed discussions about the vaccines. LinkedIn is also providing significant donated media to support the “It’s Up to You” campaign. -- NBCUniversal and Telemundo are creating custom video and banner assets in both English and Spanish for support across the NBCUniversal ecosystem, also made available to other networks. NBCUniversal is also a Founding Partner of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education initiative. -- Outcome Health is partnering with the initiative by creating educational content about the COVID-19 vaccines for vaccine hesitant groups, including Black and Hispanic communities, in addition to significant donated media through its point of care locations, the largest such network in the U.S. -- Pandora’s in-house creative consultancy, Studio Resonate, is creating custom audio ads to run within donated media inventory across Pandora, SiriusXM and SoundCloud. -- Pinterest is supplementing historic Ad Council support with significant donated media for the organization's “It’s Up To You” campaign, as well as continuing to collaborate with the initiative to inspire COVID-19 vaccine education and confidence by providing access to trusted expert content on the platform. --Salesforce is a Founding Partner of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education initiative and is supporting the campaign with a live segment on its "Leading Through Change" series, airing March 4, 2021 at 10am PT. -- Sesame Workshop will develop custom PSAs in English and Spanish for grownups and families, featuring their iconic characters. -- Snapchat has committed to supporting “It’s Up To You” through the creation of custom AR content and providing donated media. -- Spotify will produce custom audio PSAs and messaging points for podcast host reads to promote COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education, distributed across donated media on its free tier and integrated into podcasts on its platform. -- TikTok is donating prominent In-Feed advertising space dedicated to the “It’s Up to You” campaign. TikTok is committed to amplifying critical public health information and will support the campaign with engaging content featuring TikTok creators and integrate the “It’s Up To You” program in their in-app COVID-19 information hub. -- Twitter is developing a custom hash-emoji on behalf of the campaign and will also host and spotlight a live Q&A on their platform, featuring a medical expert to address the top COVID-19 vaccine questions facing their users. -- Twitch will produce a custom video PSA to promote COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education, distributing the video via donated media across the live streaming service. -- Unilever - maker of brands like Dove, Hellmann’s and Suave - will support the Ad Council initiative as a Founding Partner by integrating it into their annual Day of Service and amplify with paid and earned media, retail tie-ins and a broader employee and Unilever partner program. -- Verizon is a Founding Partner, the first to sign on as a supporter of the initiative, and is developing a digital campaign extension of “It’s Up To You,” which will launch 2/25 and focus on inviting other brands to join in and support the effort. -- ViacomCBS, creators of the #AloneTogether campaign with the Ad Council which has delivered critical COVID-19 safety information since March, will support as a Founding Partner by running PSAs across its broadcast, cable and streaming platforms and produce custom video and social assets tailored for their unique audiences. -- Walmart is a Founding Partner of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative and will provide further support for the “It’s Up To You” campaign by donating media across TV Walls, organic social, and display ads. -- WarnerMedia is co-creating PSAs with their in-house 10th Street Production Company featuring Daveed Diggs, Sanjay Gupta, and Rosie Perez. The assets will be supported across the WarnerMedia and AT&T video ecosystem and made available to other media properties as well. “When the marketing and media communities come together and amplify urgent public health messages, we can be an incredible force for good,” said Linda Yaccarino, Board Chair of the Ad Council and Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships of NBCUniversal. “The Ad Council has been leading the charge to make sure everyone in America has the latest and most accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Every major media company and platform recognizes the importance of this effort and through the media community’s support, we’ll be able to reach Americans with the information they need from the sources they trust.” All “It’s Up To You” campaign efforts drive audiences to ( in Spanish) for answers to the top questions Americans have about the COVID-19 vaccines. Vetted by experts at CDC, HHS and COVID Collaborative, content on the website is available in seven languages (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese) and serves as an information hub to help consumers make an informed decision for themselves and their families about COVID-19 vaccines. Resources at will be continually updated as new information and data becomes available. “Americans always rise to the challenge in times of crisis. The COVID Collaborative has brought together top experts, leaders and institutions in health, education and the economy and associations representing the diversity of the country to engage Americans in their own recovery,” said John Bridgeland, Co-Founder and CEO of the COVID Collaborative. “We are thrilled to partner with the Ad Council on this critical campaign and so many extraordinary institutions to help save lives and put America on a path to recovery and renewal.” The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have undertaken comprehensive and ongoing research to understand audience mindsets and how to effectively message to build vaccine confidence. This included consulting with a deep network of experts in public health, health communications and marketing, as well as qualitative and quantitative research conducted in partnership with Ahzul, Facebook, Feedback Loop, IBM Watson Advertising, Ipsos Public Affairs and Nielsen. Insights from this research is fueling the initiative’s creative, media, digital, and partnership strategies, including the development of the “It’s Up To You” platform. Dentsu Health, dentsu Americas' integrated health practice, worked pro bono to develop consumer insights and the national media strategy, informing creative development and providing a comprehensive placement framework for the creative assets. To date, the initiative has raised over $52 million for a national communications effort to increase confidence in vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Leading contributors to date include Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Cisco, CVS Health, Facebook, General Motors, Google and YouTube, the Humana Foundation, NBCUniversal/Comcast, Salesforce, Verizon, Walgreens and Walmart. Significant contributions have also been provided by Adobe, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, BNY Mellon, Business Roundtable, Citi, Ford Motor Company, JPMorgan Chase, the New York Life Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Synchrony, Target, Unilever, Wells Fargo and ViacomCBS. Major industry trade associations including the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Mobile Media Association (MMA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), NCTA – The Internet and Television Association, News Media Alliance (NMA), Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) are supporting the initiative by engaging their members, representing leading corporate brands, marketers, TV stations, radio, and digital media throughout the country, to continue educating the public with critical information from “It’s Up To You.” One of the initial efforts of this initiative was the launch of informational videos to address healthcare professionals' questions about COVID-19 vaccination, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci and other representatives from leading healthcare organizations. Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the Ad Council has mobilized the industry to launch an unprecedented, multi-pronged communications effort to combat COVID-19. To date, the Ad Council’s COVID-19 efforts have resulted in over 47 billion impressions, $445 million in donated media value, and nearly 33 million visits to The Ad Council The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization's earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans. The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels. The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube. COVID Collaborative COVID Collaborative is a national assembly of experts, leaders and institutions in health, education and the economy and associations representing the diversity of the country to turn the tide on the pandemic by supporting federal, state and local COVID-29 response efforts. The COVID Collaborative is chaired by former Governor and U.S. Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) and former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA). It includes expertise from across Republican and Democratic Administrations at the federal, state and local levels, including former FDA Commissioners, CDC Directors, and U.S. Surgeon Generals; former U.S. Secretaries of Education, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services; leading public health experts and institutions that span the country; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Business Roundtable; the NAACP, UnidosUS, and the National Congress of American Indians; the Skoll Foundation, The Allstate Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation; and associations representing those on the front lines, from the American Public Health Association to the Council of the Great City Schools. Contact Details The Ad Council Ellyn Fishere

February 25, 2021 10:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Bills Introduced in Senate, House Call for New Markets Tax Credit to Receive Permanent Extension at $5 Billion

New Markets Tax Credit Coalition

Today, Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Tom Reed (R-NY), Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Extension Act of 2021. The legislation permanently extends NMTC at $5 billion in annual credit authority, adjusts that amount for inflation in future years and provides an exception from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for New Markets investments. This legislation builds on recent important Congressional action in support of NMTC. In 2019, Congress increased the amount of credits available to $5 billion, a 44% increase and in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act, the NMTC was extended through 2025. The credit recently received a five-year extension as part of COVID-relief, but establishing the NMTC as a permanent part of the tax code will provide certainty in delivering resources to low-income and marginalized communities, creating jobs, increasing economic opportunity and improving lives at a time when the economic frailty of our underserved communities has never been more apparent. The projected annual impact of $25 billion in New Markets Tax Credits includes an estimated 690 new manufacturing expansions and industrial projects; 275 mixed-use projects combining housing, commercial, and social services; 255 new or improved health clinics, hospitals, and medical offices; and 775 investments in daycare centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other community facilities. It will also generate an estimated 590,000 jobs. Established in 2000 in the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act (P. L. 106-554), the New Markets Tax Credit is a bipartisan effort to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities. Since then, the New Markets Tax Credit has financed more than 6,500 projects and created over one million jobs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. “Following devastating impacts from COVID-19, the New Markets Tax Credit is absolutely vital for many of America’s urban neighborhoods and rural communities and will provide billions of dollars for high-impact, community revitalization projects,” said Bob Rapoza, spokesperson for the NMTC Coalition. “Over the years, the credit has been instrumental in financing plant and equipment for small manufacturing businesses and patient flexible capital to other small businesses, hospitals, healthcare centers, homeless shelters and other transformative projects that improve communities, create jobs and economic opportunity. We appreciate the leadership of several Members of Congress in championing this effort for communities across the U.S., including Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Tom Reed (R-NY) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).” For examples of how the NMTC is making an impact in each state, see the NMTC Coalition's newly released report, NMTC at Work in Communities Across America, featuring updated state statistics sheets on NMTC efficacy and more than 80 Tax Credit success stories. About New Markets Tax Credit Program The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) was enacted in 2000 in an effort to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities that lack access to the patient capital needed to support and grow businesses, create jobs, and sustain healthy local economies. Since its inception, the NMTC has generated more than one million jobs. Today, due to NMTC, more than $105 billion is hard at work in underserved communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit Contact Details New Markets Tax Credit Coalition Ayrianne Parks +1 202-393-5225 Company Website

February 25, 2021 09:04 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons® U.S. is celebrating its loyalty members with the launch of its brand-new Member Month. Beginning March 3, 2021 and continuing throughout the entire month, registered Tims Rewards members in the U.S. can earn double points for every eligible transaction when they order on Tim Hortons app, online, or scan a registered Tims Rewards card. During Member Month, rather than earning 10 points, registered members will earn 20 points per eligible transaction during their visit(s). With double the points, members will earn rewards faster. With potential reward redemptions that could include a free coffee every four visits, a free donut every three visits, and more!* In fact, Tim Hortons hopes to giveaway an additional 10 million points, or an equivalent of an additional 125,000 free coffees during Member Month. “Our Tims Rewards loyalty platform has grown in the last year and is delivering value to guests by allowing them to earn points and providing member offers,” said Yosef Hojchman, Head of Marketing for Tim Hortons U.S. “We want to show our guests how much we appreciate them by supercharging the reward program to provide even more. Tim Hortons made the decision to pivot away from the annual Roll Up the Rim to Win game to an all-digital promotion for loyalty guests based on COVID-19 safety precautions and concerns. The reimagined Member Month will offer loyalty guests a month of increased rewards and more flexible reward redemption options. To participate in Member Month and earn double points, order in the app or scan your registered Tims Rewards card when you make a purchase. Not a member? Download the Tim Hortons® app today or visit and register your physical card. *Tims Rewards members can redeem points for a variety of eligible menu items. Learn more about redemption options and the Tims Rewards by Tim Hortons rewards program at [URL]. All offers and rewards are subject to Tims Rewards terms and conditions. Details at About TIM HORTONS® Tim Hortons® is one of North America's largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, Tim Hortons appeals to a broad range of guest tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, teas and our famous Iced Capps™), fresh baked goods, hot breakfast sandwiches, breakfast snacking items, and other food products. Tim Hortons has more than 4,800 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and around the world. More information about the company is available at Contact Details Alison Brod Marketing + Communications Adrianna Lauricella +1 212-230-1800 Company Website

February 25, 2021 09:02 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Medtech Startup GyroGear raises US$4.3m in Phase One of Seed Round led by Taiwan Manufacturing Giant Foxconn

Media Outreach

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 25 February 2021 - UK-based neuromuscular medical device company, GyroGear Ltd has just concluded phase one of its seed round fundraise. This round was led by Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest and foremost electronics manufacturer. Foxconn has invested £1 million (US$1.41 million) upfront. Participants in GyroGear's seed round include the UK Government Future Fund, Singapore venture builder Fidelium Group, and other established strategic investors and business leaders. Phase two of the seed round is ongoing and scheduled for completion in March 2021. GyroGear is developing a wearable to help individuals with hand tremors. The wearable reduces tremors, so they may perform their day-to-day activities. This also brings relief to caregivers and family members. "In the US alone, the economic burden of Parkinson's Disease amounts to $51.9 billion every year, growing to $79.1 billion by 2037. Essential Tremor alone is up to 20 times more prevalent than Parkinson's, and can manifest at any point in one's life. The impact of not being able to use one's hands is beyond what any numbers can describe. GyroGear was founded to specifically address this large unmet medical need, and to provide simple, elegant solutions to restore the quality of life to 200 million tremor patients worldwide," explains Dr Faii Ong, Founder and CEO of GyroGear. Dr Ong adds, "Our partnership with Foxconn elevates GyroGear's existing world-class engineering and advisory base with further strategic and technical expertise. It grants GyroGear access to class-leading advanced technologies and capabilities as we ready our flagship product, the GyroGlove™, for international launch." GyroGear's flagship product, the GyroGlove™, is the world's first and only wearable medical device that adopts cutting edge aerospace technology and satellite-grade mechanical gyroscopes. The technology effectively and swiftly counteracts hand tremors, thus restoring normal use of the hand. Lightweight and efficacious, the GyroGlove™ unobtrusively empowers users to overcome their daily challenges, offering hope to the millions of tremor sufferers worldwide who struggle with everyday tasks. Potential users include those with Parkinson's Disease and Essential Tremor, with both conditions affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Prevalence of both diseases has been rapidly increasing this past decade. Current therapies include medication and neurosurgery. Medication is accompanied by significant side effects. Whereas neurosurgery is limited to a small minority of patients due to its inherent risks. There is currently no cure for hand tremors. "We are eager and excited to partner with GyroGear and bring the GyroGlove™ to Asia. The partnership is another reflection of our long-term commitment to our "3+3=∞" vision, which symbolises the infinite possibilities created by Foxconn's industrial advancement and emerging technologies," said Young-way Liu, Chairman of Foxconn Technology Group. Paul Lim, Chairman of Fidelium Group and Senior Advisor to GyroGear Ltd added, "GyroGear fills a huge gap in today's medical spectrum. Many tremor patients suffer in silence as the disease robs them not only of the ability to carry on simple daily activities, but more importantly, many suffer silently, with mental trauma caused by embarrassment from uncontrollable shaking. They avoid going out to public spaces and recluse themselves from social activities. Founder CEO Dr Faii Ong is a visionary leader who has led his team to invent this elegant solution that will change the lives of millions of tremor patients in the world." The funds raised will be used for clinical trials, regulatory approval and further R&D. This round closes March 2021. About GyroGear GyroGear Ltd is a neuromuscular medical device company incorporated in 2016 by Dr Faii Ong. It is the only medical device company worldwide to utilise mechanical gyroscopes. Whilst still a student at Imperial College London, Dr Ong was moved to action after witnessing the distress experienced by a 103-year-old Parkinson’s patient at a London hospital. Dr Ong and his team invented the GyroGlove™ as a solution to help millions in the same situation. GyroGear’s flagship product is the GyroGloveTM, a wearable device that mechanically stabilises hand tremors with cutting edge aerospace-grade gyroscopes. The GyroGlove™ has demonstrated promising results. Volunteers are able to put on the GyroGlove™ independently, and start to feed themselves, insert keys into keyholes, write once more, and for some, even thread a needle and sew again. Since its inception, GyroGear has been featured prominently in global media publications including Popular Science, MIT Technology Review, the BBC, Forbes, Reuters and the Washington Post. In December 2020, GyroGear won first runner-up out of 7,500 participating start-ups from 159 nations, at SLINGSHOT 2020. The judges were Eduardo Saverin, Forest Li, Sequoia Capital, Temasek and SG Enterprise. SLINGSHOT 2020 is the leading start-up competition in South East Asia, organised by the Singapore government. GyroGear has been awarded over $3.3M in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 and Innovate UK, to develop the GyroGlove™. GyroGear is based in London and Singapore. For further information: About Foxconn Technology Group Established in Taiwan in 1974, Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) (2317: Taiwan) is the world’s largest electronics manufacturer. Foxconn is also the leading technological solution provider and it continuously leverages its expertise in software and hardware to integrate its unique manufacturing systems with emerging technologies. About UK Future Fund Announced by the Government of the United Kingdom on 20th April 2020, the Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential that typically rely on equity investment. The scheme is designed by the government and delivered by the British Business Bank. For further information: About Fidelium Group Fidelium Group is a venture builder, investment and management consulting company with a presence in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company provides a suite of comprehensive services for SMEs and start-ups which include corporate structuring, corporate finance, fundraising and corporate secretarial services. For further information: Contact Details Right Hook Communications Wesley Gunter +65 9679 8574 Company Website

February 25, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Rechat Launches Innovative Mobile Platform to Empower Real Estate Agents and Brokerages to Work Anytime, Anywhere


Rechat, the real estate technology company that’s optimizing the way agents and brokerages do business from the palm of their hand, today announced the launch of its digital platform, designed to empower on-the-go real estate professionals and brokerages to maximize efficiencies from lead to close, wherever they are. Unlike anything currently available, Rechat is the first platform to offer intuitive, fully integrated tools that add unlimited value to an agent’s or a brokerage's brand. Founded by PropTech veteran and software engineer Shayan Hamidi, Rechat is built by real estate professionals for real estate professionals. The 360-degree solution was designed to address the challenges Hamidi experienced first-hand when he created and operated a tech-enabled real estate brokerage, and can be used by individual agents or as a one-stop-shop and white-labeled solution for brokerages. “The pandemic has changed the way real estate agents work, and this new easy-to-use platform empowers them to manage their contacts and relationships, market themselves and their listings, and actually close transactions -- all in a single app,” said Rechat’s CEO Hamidi. “Agents simply sign-up and instantly gain access to a fully-integrated platform that was designed with real estate professionals’ needs in mind, enabling them to build their own personal brands from the palm of their hands.” Featuring an integrated MLS system, marketing and social engagement management, sales flow automation and more, Rechat gives users freedom to do what they do best without spending countless hours figuring out the “how.” Rechat empowers agents and brokerages to provide a full suite of services from a single, intuitive mobile app: market listings, connect with other real estate professionals, and elevate their personal brands. “Rechat’s fully integrated digital platform and app have been game changers for us,” says Robbie Briggs, President and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in North Texas. “Rechat allows our team to stay connected at every point in the sales process and exceed client expectations, even when we’re not always face-to-face -- for example, during the pandemic. The fact that our agents can customize workflows and build personal brands using these tools has directly translated into increased impressions and traffic, causing a positive network effect that has put us light-years ahead of where we had planned to be by 2021.” At launch, Rechat’s renowned customers include multiple Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and a series of independent brokerages nationwide. The company has raised nearly $6 million and grew its subscriber base by over 900 percent in 2020. In addition, Rechat recently brought on two industry heavyweights, Director of Sales Jay Stifolter, formerly Director of Sales at, and Chief Integration Officer Kevin Smith, a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits who was formerly the Acting CIO of Yahoo! and the Vice President of Technology at With aggressive growth projected in 2021, Rechat’s advanced platform, combined with its dedication to personalized customer service, allows any brokerage or agent to remain ahead of the industry as it ebbs and flows. For more information on Rechat and to set up a demo, visit or download the app in the Apple App Store. About Rechat Rechat is an innovative mobile and desktop platform that empowers busy, on-the-go real estate agents and brokers to do business anytime, anywhere. Founded in 2015 by PropTech veteran and software engineer Shayan Hamidi, Rechat is the first platform to offer simple and intuitive fully-integrated tools that any agent or broker can use to maximize their workflow from lead to close. The platform is a 360-degree solution designed to address the pain points of real estate professionals, including managing contacts and relationships, targeting and marketing listings, working with other agents and brokers, building personal brands, closing transactions on the go and more. Rechat is an easy-to-use one-stop shop for busy individual agents and a white-labeled solution for brokerages. Visit Contact Details April Margulies +1 347-870-9402 Company Website

February 25, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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The CoreBev Group’s Cylinder® Vodka Announces Search for Artist to Design Limited Edition Bottle

The Core Bev Group

Connecticut-based CoreBev Group’s Cylinder® Vodka brand is proud to announce its new Cylinder Bottle Art Competition Series. The brand will provide one lucky artist the chance to win $500, and an opportunity to have their artwork featured on a limited-edition Cylinder 2021 bottle. The winning artist will also be featured in Social Life magazine, the premier luxury publications for the Hamptons. “Over the years, the iconic Cylinder Vodka glass bottle has become a symbol of the brand and its premium craftsmanship,” explained Stelios Stavrianos, CEO of CoreBev Group and founder of Cylinder. “Lauded by mixologists and vodka connoisseurs alike for its smooth taste and clean aroma, Cylinder has served as a blank canvas, inspiring countless signature drinks from coast to coast.” The Cylinder Bottle Art Competition calls all artists to submit original artwork in the form of photography, drawing, illustration or painting that speaks to the brand’s identity: “ Bartender Inspired. Bartender Crafted.” Starting now, aspiring artists are encouraged to upload their original artwork on the Cylinder Bottle Art Competition submission page ( ) through April 15, 2021. The CoreBev Group appointed panel of jurors will review the top prospects and choose three finalists. Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria: creativity, originality, ability to capture the essence of the Cylinder brand and the persuasiveness of the essay. Between April 16th and the 30th, Cylinder will leverage its Instagram and Facebook communities to cast votes for their favorite design. The artwork with the highest combined score from public voting and from the selection panel will be awarded the Grand Prize”. The winner will be announced on May 7, 2021. Fans and artists participating in the Cylinder Bottle Art Competition must be over the age of 21 and be a U.S. citizen to participate. To learn further about the Cylinder Bottle Art Competition Series, please visit ( ), visit Cylinder’s Facebook page ( ). Fans are also encouraged to follow Cylinder on Instagram (@CylinderVodka). About The CoreBev Group Based in Stamford, Connecticut, The CoreBev Group develops and scales craft spirits that connect the best artisans to consumers across the country. Home to Cylinder vodka, the award-winning vodka is one of the fastest growing craft brands in the United States. About Cylinder® About Cylinder® Cylinder ® started with a simple idea: to use its founders’ bartender know-how to make a great-tasting, bartender crafted vodka. Stelios Stavrianos sourced the best ingredients and applied the creativity of a master mixologist to create the most delicious vodka. Introduced in 2017, Cylinder is an inspiring player in the spirits industry. The brand has won various awards in 2020, including a Platinum award from SIP, the only international spirits competition with only consumer judges; a Gold Medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and San Diego Spirits Competition. It was also awarded a Silver medal from the Denver International Spirits Competition. Contact Details Danika Communications Anne Ryan +1 203-661-3663 Company Website

February 25, 2021 07:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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‘Al Aire Con El Terrible’ Syndicated Morning Show with Alberto ‘El Terry’ Cortez Expands to New Key Hispanic Markets

Latinx Newswire

--T he new top-rated Spanish language syndicated morning show is growing in popularity across key Hispanic markets and can now be heard in San Antonio, San Diego, Bakersfield, Chico-Redding, Corpus Christi, Laredo and Yuma -- MIAMI, FL.- February 24, 2021 – (LATINX NEWSWIRE) - AIRE Radio Networks, the largest minority certified Spanish Language radio network in the country and the official radio network of Spanish Broadcasting System, announced today that its highly rated syndicated morning show, “Al Aire Con El Terrible”, expands its coverage and can now be heard across 15 top Hispanic markets. “Al Aire con El Terrible” was launched through AIRE Radio Networks-Spanish Broadcasting System back in August 2018 and is hosted by one of the most influential Latin radio personalities, Alberto “El Terry” Cortez. A listener favorite, “Al Aire Con El Terrible”, is becoming widely recognized for uplifting and empowering the Hispanic community through music and laughter. The program includes a variety of engaging segments that connect with Hispanic consumers such as community highlights, stories and words of empowerment, interviews with Latin artists and celebrities, international news, celebrity gossip, jokes, as well as tentpole segments like Mini Terry, El Pesado de Sinaloa, Citripio Perez, Segmento Deportivo, El Anónimo, El Detective, El Doctor J, Sexologa Eugenia Flores. Each break of the show includes a mix of the biggest Regional Mexican music hits. “El Terry is a unique influencer who has consistently driven ratings on our owned-and-operated audio stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. His success comes through his hard work in developing engaging, cultural and empowering content that speaks to the Hispanic community,” said Elisa Torres, EVP, AIRE Radio Networks and Spanish Broadcasting System National Sales. “The response to his show since we launched has been exceptional and the demand to carry and advertise within the program continues to surge. We’re very excited to witness the growth of Al Aire con El Terrible.” “The partnership with AIRE Radio Networks and Spanish Broadcasting System has been remarkable. I’m so grateful to have a robust platform where I can empower Hispanic listeners across the nation every day,” said Alberto “Terry” Cortez, the host of Al Aire con El Terrible. “We’re living through challenging times and the biggest reward is knowing that I have played a role helping our people start their day with laughter and positivity.” “Al AIRE con El Terrible” also has a variety of digital and social extensions such as his self-titled podcast on the LaMusica App, the #1 Hispanic Streaming App and El Terrible’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. For all syndication inquiries and details, contact Blanca Navas, Vice President, Affiliate Sales at About Terry “El Terrible” Cortez Alberto “El Terrible” Cortez has been in the entertainment business for years inspiring the U.S. Hispanic community to grow personally and professionally. Well known for speaking about topics that matter the most, even when nobody wants to talk about them, El Terrible thrives on bringing out the best of his listeners. Cortez is innovative, funny and is also known for his originality. When El Terrible is not busy being hosting Al Aire con El Terrible, he enjoys spending time with his family, soccer and local wrestling. About Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS) owns and operates radio stations located in the top U.S. Hispanic markets of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Puerto Rico, airing the Tropical, Regional Mexican, Spanish Adult Contemporary, Top 40 and Urbano format genres. SBS also operates AIRE Radio Networks, a national radio platform of over 290 affiliated stations reaching 95% of the U.S. Hispanic audience. SBS also owns MegaTV, a network television operation with over-the-air, cable and satellite distribution and affiliates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, produces a nationwide roster of live concerts and events, and owns a stable of digital properties, including LaMusica, a mobile app providing Latino-focused audio and video streaming content and HitzMaker, a new-talent destination for aspiring artists. For more information, visit us online at Contact Details SBS-AIRE RADIO NETWORKS Vladimir Gomez +1 786-805-2545 SBS EXTERNAL AGENCY Marlene Maseda

February 24, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Keeping Your Heart Healthy with Kori Krill Oil: American Heart Month


Heart disease is the leading health-related cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of 2,200 people each day. Nearly half of American adults have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. February is American Heart Month, a time to learn about simple steps you can take now to help your heart. For many years, experts have recommended that people eat fatty fish rich in essential Omega-3 nutrients at least twice a week. But did you that most Americans—up to 70%— are deficient in Omega-3s because they do not eat enough fish? That’s a concern because scientific studies have shown that Omega-3s can support our heart and overall health. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: So, if you want to get on track to a maintaining a healthy heart but don’t know where to start, what to eat or what supplements to use, what should you do? Kori Krill Oil partnered with Dr. Taz Bhatia, D S Simon Media, and YourUpdate TV on a nationwide media tour to discuss the steps you can take to help your heart, including the heart-healthy benefits of Omega-3s. Where you get your Omega-3s from matters. Research has found that there are two critical types of Omega-3s for our health, called EPA and DHA. These are what you find in real fish and in ocean-sourced supplements like Kori Pure Antarctic Krill Oil. According to the FDA, supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One serving of Kori Krill Oil provides 250 grams of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. [See nutrition information for total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol content.] In addition, Omega-3s support normal triglycerides, may increase good cholesterol (HDL), and support normal circulation and heart rhythm. The important thing to realize about Omega-3 fatty acids is that our bodies can’t make them on their own. We have to consume them. Krill oil has been clinically proven to raise Omega-3 levels and is a doctor recommended Omega-3 source. Kori Krill Oil has superior Omega-3 absorption vs fish oil because it delivers Omega-3s in their most natural form, just as you would find in real fish. Plus, it has no fishy aftertaste. In addition to Omega-3s, Kori Krill Oil is also naturally a good source of choline, another essential nutrient that supports brain and nervous system health, and has an antioxidant. You won’t find either of these in fish oil. It even comes in small and mini sizes for people who have trouble swallowing large pills. Kori Krill Oil has a commitment to purity and quality. It’s certified sustainably sourced from pristine Antarctic waters and does not add artificial ingredients. For more information about supporting your heart health visit You can get Kori Krill Oil at Walmart, CVS and other retailers. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

February 24, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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VinBrain reaches final round of global competition "COVID-19 Pandemic Response Challenge"

Media Outreach

The VinBrain team in the US has reached the final round of the Pandemic Response Challenge held by XPRIZE and Cognizant. This competition, which has prize money of $500,000, aims to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence to predict COVID-19 infection rates, and propose Intervention Plans for governments, communities and regional institutions to control COVID-19 Pandemic when reopening the economy. HANOI, VIETNAM - Media OutReach - 24 February 2021 - The Pandemic Response Challenge co-organised by XPRIZE and Cognizant was launched in November 2020. Participating teams will develop models based on artificial intelligence to make recommendations to achieve the goal of reopening society safely and limit negative impacts on the economy while minimising the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak. Based on the jury's independent assessment of the AI prediction of the COVID-19 trend and the infection patterns of the participating teams, the jury selected 48 teams from 17 countries for the final round out of a total of 104 teams from 28 countries in the semi-finals. Thanks to the guidance by Mr. Mudit Jain -- the Deputy General Director of VinBrain Product Development in the United States, the Vinteam team has developed a solution applying artificial intelligence to the accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 infections and provides intervention options. The infection patterns vary by country and territory. As a result, interventions may work in one country or territory but be less effective in another. Members of VinBrain in the US have come up with an extensive solution to this problem by developing the region-specific AI models to predict the COVID-19 infection time series in those regions. The Vinteam developed this solution based on a classical epidemic model called the SEIR model, which was then expanded to integrate with artificial intelligence to turn it into a dynamic model. In order to train its AI models, the team uses available features/data such as demographics, medical infrastructure, and economic indicators. A special feature used by Vinteam is Google Maps mobile metrics collected from worldwide Android phones in an anonymous and secure way, measuring the movements of people in public areas such as parks, hospitals, workplaces, grocery stores, stations, airports, etc. Another unique feature used by Vinteam is Google's COVID-19 infection trend data which is aggregated anonymously and contains popular COVID-19 Symptom-Related Google Searches. The jury selected Vinteam for the final round based on the accuracy of the AI ​​models and its ability to easily interpret the predictions of the solution. In addition, this approach can be used for any future pandemic response model. Mr. Amir Banifatemi, General Manager for Innovation and Growth, said: "We aim to maximise the power of collaboration, competition and innovation to accelerate possible solutions for COVID-19 and future pandemics. The competition has shown encouraging results in a very short time, reflecting the application of artificial intelligence to the society." The Pandemic Response Challenge is sponsored by XPRIZE, which designs and operates incentive competitions to solve humanity's grand challenges, in partnership with Cognizant, which is considered one of 15 iconic companies in the US, operating extensively in the field of information technology, developing business processes and consulting cooperation for some of the most successful units worldwide. The organisers also hope the competition will promote the use of artificial intelligence and data in tackling other humanitarian challenges. The competition's results will be announced at the end of February 2021. About VinBrain VinBrain is an AI-focused company funded by VinGroup and its mission is to infuse AI and IoT to medicine. VinBrain aims to provide access to the best healthcare solutions, knowledge, and services. VinBrain is made up of a team of talented AI professionals with world-class experience. Their expertise are in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, language processing and large scale products and services. VinBrain's AI experts work in teams despite living in many different countries including Việt Nam, Australia, South Korea and the United States. About XPRIZE XPRIZE is a non-profit organization, the global leader in designing and launching incentive competitions to solve humanity's grand challenges. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $10 Million XPRIZE Rainforest, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, and $500K Pandemic Response Challenge. Contact Details VinGroup Media Contact +84 24 3974 9999

February 24, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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