SOURCE: Electronic Retailing Association

February 27, 2007 13:09 ET

Electronic Retailing Association Wheelchair Project Raises Awareness for Global Foundation

ERA Provides Over $450,000 in Free Services, Inspires Industry Involvement

ARLINGTON, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 27, 2007 -- The Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), the only industry association representing direct response marketing companies and major retailers that use electronic media to sell goods and services to consumers, has donated over $450,000 in marketing services to the Wheelchair Foundation in order to raise awareness for the global relief organization. Providing a public service announcement, a radio campaign, a print campaign, telemarketing services, and media placement for free, the ERA Wheelchair Project hopes to garner international attention for the Wheelchair Foundation. Involving the entire direct response industry, the ERA Wheelchair Project inspired more than 30 companies to donate their time and services toward this charitable initiative.

"We have seen immediate differences since partnering with the ERA," says Chris Lewis, Vice President of Public Education for the Wheelchair Foundation. "Our international awareness has increased dramatically and our increase in web traffic has been enormous. As a non-profit organization, traditional media was not a viable option for us. But with the help of the ERA, the entire industry is giving in a multi-pronged way, incredibly impacting people in need."

Dan Danielson, CEO and co-founder of Mercury Media and former ERA chairman, initiated the ERA Wheelchair Project in 2005. Originally inspired by the Wheelchair Foundation's relatively unknown presence, measurable outcomes, and international scope, Danielson desired to put the creative talents, time and skills of the industry to good use.

Notable companies who have partnered with the ERA Wheelchair Project to donate their services toward this campaign include Apex Media, DIRECTV, Discovery Communications, ShopNBC, Livemercial, Novus Print Media, Icon Media Direct, Response Magazine and LiveOps. Internationally, companies in Canada, Latin America, Japan, and the United Kingdom have also donated their services.

In addition to providing services, ERA has raised over $187,500 for the Wheelchair Foundation, which is equivalent to over 2,500 wheelchairs. This year, the ERA Wheelchair Project is slated to distribute wheelchairs in Israel, El Salvador, Chile, Vietnam, South Africa, and Hong Kong.

For more information on the ERA Wheelchair Project, visit ERA's website at www.retailing.org.

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