Press Releases

Polaris, McCain Institute, and Clear Channel Outdoor Expand Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign on Phoenix Billboards

PHOENIX, AZ – Polaris, Cindy McCain and The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO), together with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, today announced a renewed and expanded campaign to combat human trafficking with outdoor media throughout Phoenix. The billboard campaign is aimed at reaching both trafficking victims who may be unaware that resources exist to help them and residents who can help identify suspicious activity with raised awareness that human trafficking is a major problem in Arizona and throughout the US 365 days a year. Over recent years, the prevalence of sex trafficking at major sporting events has been discussed in conjunction with the nation’s biggest game. With their support for the billboard campaign, Arizona and Phoenix elected officials, law enforcement and community groups joined with Mrs. McCain, Polaris and Clear Channel Outdoor to combat human trafficking in the days leading up to February 1 and beyond.

Clear Channel Outdoor is donating ad space across 52 of their digital billboards in the Phoenix metropolitan area to promote the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, 1-888-373-7888, operated by Polaris. CCO is also leveraging traditional (printed) billboards and posters in the campaign to vigorously target the audiences and deliver the messages with high frequency. Launching today, the initial campaign will run through February and deliver an estimated 17 million impressions. Additionally, CCO has committed to support anti-human trafficking efforts with its media in Phoenix through the whole year, as it did with The McCain Institute and Polaris in Arizona in 2014.

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Polaris and Clear Channel Outdoor have forged a national partnership to combat human trafficking with campaigns in cities across America. CCO launched its first anti-human trafficking campaign alongside Polaris in Philadelphia in 2012 and has since supported campaigns with Polaris and/or local partners in Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and across the entire state of Texas. This is CCO’s 15th anti-human trafficking campaign and measures show the campaigns drive calls to the hotline, including tips and requests by victims for help.

“Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that affects every state in the nation, every day of the year. These billboards are critical to ensuring victims and survivors know there is help when they need it, as well as to raise awareness that modern slavery is a 365-day-a-year problem that requires greater resources to combat it. I applaud the McCain Institute, Clear Channel Outdoor, and advocates throughout Arizona for their steadfast commitment to eradicating this crime,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

“This is an important campaign and an opportune moment to raise awareness of human trafficking in Arizona and beyond. Thank you to Clear Channel Outdoor for your continued work to combat this enormous problem and to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Cindy McCain, Co-Chair, Arizona Human Trafficking Council and Chair of Human Trafficking Advisory Council, The McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU.

“Knowing there is help and a safe place to go is an important first step in surviving slavery,” said Carolyn Jones, a former victim of sex trafficking who now works for StreetLightUSA, a program that aims to eradicate child rape for profit. “This billboard campaign by the McCain Institute, Polaris and Clear Channel Outdoor will be a lifeline to people who may be living without hope for escaping their oppressors.”

“Billboards and other outdoor media are ideal for targeting specific audiences and for reaching people at scale, and we welcome our responsibility to use this power to help the people of Arizona and those in the other cities in which we operate. On any given day, Clear Channel Outdoor works with law enforcement, government agencies and nonprofits on a number of public safety and community building initiatives; no issue we touch is more detestable than modern slavery,” said Diane Veres, President, Clear Channel Outdoor – Arizona. “The stories of loved ones lost to labor and sex trafficking are truly heartbreaking. If we can help one person regain their freedom and dignity, and reunite them with their families, this campaign will be an enormous success.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center, operated by Polaris, is a confidential, toll-free lifeline for victims and survivors of human trafficking to reach out for help and for people to anonymously report tips of suspected human trafficking. People can call the NHTRC at 1-888-373-7888 or send a text to Polaris at BeFree (233733), 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year. With bilingual staff, the hotline is available in English and Spanish, and in more than 180 languages through the use of interpreters.

Mrs. McCain and her husband, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), supported Arizona State University’s launch of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Mrs. McCain is participating in efforts at the Institute to fight human trafficking through a partnership with Polaris to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation in Arizona and other mountain states. 

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About Polaris

Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org/365days.

About Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, with more than 750,000 displays in over 40 countries across five continents, including 48 of the 50 largest markets in the United States. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings offers many types of displays across its global platform to meet the advertising needs of its customers. This includes a growing digital platform that now offers over 1000 digital billboards across 37 U.S. markets. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings’ International segment operates in nearly 30 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America in a wide variety of formats.


About the McCain Institute

Located in Washington, D.C. and Arizona, the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University (ASU) is a non-partisan do-tank dedicated to advancing character driven leadership based on security, economic opportunity, and human freedom and democracy in the United States and around the world. The Institute seeks to promote leadership and decision making in the best American tradition of open inquiry, spirited debate, and practical action, and to embrace technology in producing better designs for better decisions in national and international policy. For more information about the McCain Institute for International Leadership, please visit: http://www.mccaininstitute.org.

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