This recurring series spotlights the Literacy ad series I ran while at Lerner Newspapers.
Since I had virtually no budget, no help and no support, when I was running the NIE program at Lerner Newspapers, I was allowed a bit of freedom (as long as there was no cost attached). I started the NIE literacy ad series and I went after whatever celebrities I wanted. Sometimes the challenge of getting someone was half the fun.
I really didn't expect Jenny McCarthy to agree to appear in the series, but she did. On the other hand, I always was surprised with each new celebrity on board. Still, landing McCarthy was a nice boost for the ad series.
McCarthy had just come out with her book, Belly Laughs. We used the ad to promote her book, while she promoted literacy.
This was going to be the start of a great relationship with McCarthy's agent and PR firm. They liked the ad series and what we had to offer. We obviously liked the possibility of other celebrity-author appearances in our ad series.
Unfortunately, this was one of the last ads I ever ran at Lerner. Once the evil empire (aka Pioneer Press) took over, they weren't too excited about anything done under the old management.
It was really hard for me to take. As much as I joke, I worked hard to make our NIE program a success. Just when it really started to get recognized and show results, it was ended.
It was almost 6 years ago and it still saddens me. I must not look at the negative side though. I had a lot of fun, worked with a lot of celebs and did a lot of good for students in our area.
Learning to read is well worth the effort--it's fun and can lead to great success in life.
--Jenny McCarthy as quoted in the NIE ad series in 2005