Home > Co-founders > NBC Icon Bob Wright in a candid discussion on autism and how the advertising & media business has helped make Autism Speaks a household name

NBC Icon Bob Wright in a candid discussion on autism and how the advertising & media business has helped make Autism Speaks a household name

On Friday, October 1 Autism Speaks was featured during Advertising Week, New York City’s preeminent media conference for advertisers.  Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks and former Chairman and CEO of NBC Universal and Vice Chair of GE participated in a discussion about autism and advertising. Bob had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies leading from 1986 to 2007. He was joined by Andrew Robertson, CEO of BBDO Worldwide and a member of Autism Speaks’ Board of Directors, who moderated the discussion.

In the one hour seminar Bob discussed how he has applied his knowledge from the corporate world to the non-profit sector, and how Autism Speaks has succeeded in making autism a household word. Both he and Andrew shared the story of how they started Autism Speaks award-winning Ad Council public service announcement campaign thanks to the support of BBDO, an elite world renowned advertising agency, and the Ad Council. Since its inception, it’s garnered over $249 million dollars in donated media resulting in much needed awareness for families and has ultimately led to fundraising dollars for the needed research into the cause and treatments for autism.

Over the last five years, under Bob and Suzanne’s leadership, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, Autism Speaks has emerged as the largest autism science and advocacy organization in the world. And autism has moved to the fore of the public’s consciousness – nationally and globally — in large part due to Autism Speaks’ innovative and highly effective awareness initiatives.

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  1. Dorothy Sumner
    October 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    After having the privalige to work with and know a few Austic children I admire your work for they are truly amazing people.

  2. Sarah
    October 2, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Thank you Mr. Wright, Mr. Robertson and everyone at Autism Speaks and BBDO.

  3. Katie Wright
    October 3, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Fantastic job Dad!

  4. Christy Miller
    October 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Wonderful transfer of knowledge to create autism awareness through highly effective campaigns – smart strategy. Six years ago my daughter was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. My husband and I were told ultimately there’s no cure but go be her advocate. I would love to see more success stories – doesn’t have to be my son or daughter is cured. But just something that might give those affected by autism a glimmer of hope. And, if those success stories can be tied back to the fundraising efforts – what a great, feel good story for all! Provides a sort of validation for donation efforts and gives hope to the people who need it most!

  5. Christy Miller
    October 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    …forgot to say thank you for your outstanding effort!

  6. October 7, 2010 at 12:05 am

    same as the rest. THANKS!

  7. Mary Slattery
    October 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Many thanks to you, Mr Wright, for all you do. Autism Speaks is a wonderful organization. My friends at work wear the pins in support of me and my daughter.

  8. Laura Hackathorn
    December 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

    On December 19, 2010 my daughter and 5 year old autistic grandson was coming home to visit for christmas. They flew with American Airlines. They were so cruel and ignorant regarding Autisim I need some advice on who to contact. They refused to let him fly because she couldn’t control him. They wouldn’t even provide them with a room until I arrived to Dallas airport to pick them up. I was coming from Oklahoma. I’m devastated by this behavior. I feel like something needs to educate them on this matter. Please help to direct me to the right agency. This put a big damper on our christmas and my grandson did nothing to deserve anything that happened. There’s more to this story so if you can help me please call me at 918-949-4006 or e-mail me at lauralynn5858@msn.com

  9. Laura Hackathorn
    January 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    American Airlines tried to ruin autistic boy’s christmas by refusing to let him fly home for christmas. Who can help me with this issue? They were not concerned at all for him or his mother.

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