When A&E Network launched its “Recovery Project” cause-branding campaign in 2008, its executives, along with those at agency partner Civic Entertainment Group, had to overcome the challenge of de-stigmatizing addiction. Thanks to their integrated marketing and communications efforts, the campaign has been a success thus far and is showing no signs of stopping—a testament of the following cause-branding best practices. • Make sure the cause is compatible with the brand: “Most important is identifying a clear link between the brand and the cause and to design the campaign to play to the strength of the brand,” says Seth Webb, director of special projects at Civic Entertainment Group. “It can’t be artificial, and it has to make sense.” John Hartinger, vice president of integrated marketing for A&E, seconds this.

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