"The State Department's public affairs division has gone on the offensive to combat last month's reports that its Shared Values initiative was faltering after the disappearance of its centerpiece, a $15 million advertising campaign," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua writes. The State Department said its TV ads that featured Muslim Americans "talking about their positive experiences living in the US" were no longer being broadcast because the spots were meant only to be aired during the month of Ramadan. The State Department's "street-level diplomacy" campaign Shared Values also includes speaking tours, town-hall meetings, print publications, radio broadcasts, and Arab outreach programs. The "driving force" behind Shared Values is former Madison Avenue advertising executive and current Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Charlotte Beers. PR Week reports Beers said that the TV ads' real impact will come later when Muslim Americans starring in the ads visit the regions in which the ads aired. "They're going to be available for questions and answers, and even those countries that didn't have it on their national channel will get these speakers. They'll be covered by the local press; they've become stars because they have such high coverage and awareness," Beers said.
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