Firestone teams with Mario Andretti on safety campaign

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Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) will spend more than $15 million over the next three years on a new driver safety education campaign featuring Firestone tires and legendary racer Mario Andretti.

The program includes a series of television and print ads in which Andretti stresses the importance of proper tire inflation and maintenance, and urges drivers to check their tires every month.

The program also includes a curriculum that encourages young drivers to learn their "M.A.R.I.O.S." (Mario Andretti's Real Information On Safety), which includes taking care of your tires, wearing your seat belt, driving alert and defensively, and never drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

"I’m proud of Firestone for having this commitment to safety and stepping up to provide drivers with life-saving safety information. I'm honored that they asked me to serve as spokesman for this important campaign," said Andretti. "After more than 40 years in racing, I know we all have a responsibility to make sure our tires are in good condition and are properly inflated. We also have to be alert —- not distracted or impaired behind the wheel -— and we must always buckle up."

In addition to the ads and the safety curriculum, the program includes a complete revision and re-launch of the company’s public service Web site,

"We've put a great deal of thought into this program to include the best and most useful safety information and to try to reach as many drivers as possible through our outreach and advertising efforts," said John Gamauf, president of Consumer Replacement Tire for BFNT. "Safety is something we are passionate about. With Mario's help, we're going to work very hard to educate drivers of all ages and equip all motorists with the information they need to stay safe on the roads."

Firestone worked with ad agency Laughlin/Constable Inc. to create the campaign.

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