There’s No Excuse For Dirty Water

I’m often thinking about, writing about and talking about how advertising can be put to good use by conscious brands. Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, and speaker at Big Omaha yesterday, gets that and it’s a huge help to his organization and the righteous cause it supports.

I don’t love the spot above, but it does star Jennifer Connelly and American Idol donated a one million dollar time slot to air it.
Additionally, charity: water has a well designed website with lots of great content. There’s also a page of banner ads that this site and yours can embed. One billion people need clean water to live. This is a problem we can and must address.

Why water? According to charity: water unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Many options exist to begin this herculean task. Much of the problem, especially in the US, stems from centralized, BIG engineering/guv’ment projects that hold tight to the archaic and spoiled system for delivering and treating water in this country. We need to reduce our use and get back to shared but decentralized systems that make good use of constructed wetlands, rainwater harvesting, using “waste” to be part of the closed-loop cycle, and employing gravity to much of the “transportation” associated with this system.
    So much to learn and do, and really, very little time. Let’s get on it!
    Some of the smartest and experienced folks implementing these practices this can be found here: