Scruff McGruff ad 1998

McGruff the Crime Dog is an anthropomorphic animated bloodhound created by Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising executive Jack Keil (who also voiced the character) through the Ad Council and later the National Crime Prevention Council to increase crime awareness and personal safety in the United States. McGruff costumes are used by police outreach efforts, often with children. McGruff was created by Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in 1979 and debuted in 1980 with a series of public service announcements educating citizens on personal security measures, such as locking doors and putting lights on timers, in order to reduce crime. His name was selected as part of a nationwide contest in July 1980.

McGruff proved to be a successful campaign with over $100 million in free air time donated in the first year reaching over 50% of adults. McGruff campaigns continued over the years to cover topics such as child abduction, robbery, anti-drug messages, and anti-bullying campaigns. From 1982 to 2012, a number of municipalities participated in the McGruff house program which offered temporary haven to children fearing immediate harm. McGruff has continued to be well recognized, with nine out of ten people recognizing him in a 2008 survey. This is thanks partly to recent campaigns against cyber-bullying and elder crime.

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