P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water President Clinton teams up with P&G and Smokey Robinson at CGI 2012 Posted on September 24, 2012 Today we have very exciting news from the Clinton Global Initiative. We’re going to partner with Smokey Robinson to raise awareness and funds to help us continue to make progress to scale-up the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program to save one life every hour by providing 2 billion liters of clean drinking water every year. This is our 7th year at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan event that brings together world leaders to address big global issues like the global water crisis. Every year has been a phenomenal opportunity to announce new efforts to grow the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program in order to help more people in the developing world. This year is no exception and is probably the most exciting to date. President Clinton also announced a new P&G partnership with music legend Smokey Robinson, David Clark, and Crispin Porter Bogusky called a “Smoke Alarm.” Smokey is gathering his celebrity friend’s social media feeds into a global “Smoke Alarm” to raise awareness and funds to address the global clean drinking water crisis. The goal is to reach over 200 million people through Twitter and Facebook, with funds raised going to the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water program. The first Smoke Alarm will be issued in the coming months, and Smokey’s friends like Elton John, Eva Longoria, James Franco and Hilary Duff will re-tweet and re-post the alarm to their followers The attached news release describes the effort (News Release) and I’ll describe some of the back story to how this partnership developed below. And, please take a minute to view the video that Smokey recorded to announce the “Smoke Alarm”. (Video) It was thrilling to have President Clinton announce these efforts in front of world leaders at the opening plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. President Clinton asked Smokey Robinson on stage along with P&G CEO Bob McDonald and co-creator of the “Smoke Alarm”, David Clark. Also during the plenary session, President Clinton highlighted P&G’s progress towards our goal to Save One Life Every Hour. We’ve now surpassed the 5 billion liter mark and this allowed us to complete two previous CGI commitments including providing 4 billion liters from 2007-2012 and providing enough clean drinking water to reach 2 million people in East Africa during the previous year. President Clinton also mentioned our work in West Africa where drought and famine are threatening the lives of millions of children. To respond to this drought, P&G is working with World Vision, Americares, GlobalMedic, and UPS Foundation to provide enough clean water for 2 million people. We’re responding in 7 countries – Chad, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Already this has become our largest response in the history of the CSDW Program with plans in place to provide nearly 35 million water purification packets. Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Brand Building Officer, hosted a dinner on behalf of P&G at CGI in which we updated our partners on our progress towards our CGI commitment to save one life every hour by 2020 by providing 2 billion liters of clean drinking water every year. The dinner included a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Social Investment through the Eyes of Leading Humanitarian Organizations” featuring Helen Gayle, President and CEO of CARE, Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI, and Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. This lively panel was moderated by Mark Kramer, the co-founder and Managing Director of FSG Social Impact Advisors, and the author of influential publications on shared value and catalytic philanthropy. Each of the speakers highlighted how their organizations have embraced the need to work with corporations to help address social issues including the global water crisis while supporting the need of business to demonstrate long-term benefits from these investments. For P&G, we’re doing this by putting more of an emphasis on the unique value that our products can provide in times of need– whether it’s responding with the P&G packets in West Africa or with Tide, Crest, Pampers, Charmin, Gillette, and Duracell for Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans. Part of the back-story to the “Smoke Alarm” effort is that President Clinton and his team played match-maker for this effort. Smokey Robinson, David Clark, and Andrew Keller of Crispin Porter +Bogusky announced the creation of Smoke Alarm at the Cannes Lions 2012 Festival. The “Smoke Alarm” announcement by Smokey occurred right before a presentation by President Clinton and so President Clinton listened to the announcement, was impressed, and offered his support to Smokey for the effort. Smokey and the “Smoke Alarm” team asked President Clinton who they’d recommend for the implementation of the first cause and told him they were leaning towards picking water as the first cause. Smokey explained that it’s critical for them to work with a group that has a track record of delivering results. I was thrilled and honored to hear that P&G had been recommended by President Clinton and his team because of our track record of proven results and our innovative technology in the P&G water purification packets. Just a few weeks ago, I was asked to meet with Smokey in Los Angeles to give him a briefing on our program. Smokey’s music has a special place in the heart and soul of people like me who grew up near the beach in North Carolina. The old Motown sounds including those written and recorded by Smokey and the Miracles are the basis for a style of dance called “Shagging” that get me out of my seat and kickin sand as often as I can. “You really got a hold on me”, “Tears of a Clown”, and “Cruisin” are just some of Smokey’s hits that I’ve danced to since my high school days. During our meeting in LA, I showed Smokey how the P&G water purification packets work. When the filthy water started to turn crystal clear, Smokey was speechless. Then when he was able to speak, he said “Wow!” about 5 times. This innovative technology is a real show stopper even among world icons who have seen it all. Smokey and I then had a conversation about equality. Smokey was friends with Martin Luther King, Jr and other leaders of the civil rights movement including Rosa Parks. For him, the global clean drinking water crisis is an issue of equality. I told him that I also believe this. Everyone deserves clean drinking water – period. And, innovations like the P&G water packets make it simple for us to help people even in far remote areas so they can have the same quality of water, using the same ingredients that make our water safe. For only pennies, we can provide clean drinking water to people in need. I hope you’ll consider lending your own social media voice by going to smokealarm.org and signing up. Smokey will activate the “Smoke Alarm” in the next few months and you’ll want to be a part of it. You can watch the video that Smokey taped during my trip to Los Angeles. He did the demonstration himself because he believes this is critical to understanding the impact our partnership will have. Thank you to President Clinton, Smokey Robinson, and our partners for making this another very memorable Clinton Global Initiative. 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