Various studies have shown that the publishing of photos of missing children is the most effective way to finding them. In America they use the packaging on their milk cartons to show pictures of missing children in the hope that consumers might take action. In Europe the body for Missing Children has teamed up with a Belgian NGO named Child Focus to develop a campaign which cleverly uses the error pages on the Internet in order to help spread the word about missing children.
The idea, hatched by Belgian ad agency Famous, asks companies to download a tool that converts their error “404 – Not found” pages into an advertisement to talk about a child who also has not been found. Page not found, neither is [child’s name here]” appears on the pages of participating companies, with a photo, case details, and a number to call to report any news on the missing child.
The program is also a marketing opportunity for participating companies, who can create goodwill with a page that usually elicits annoyance from website visitors and show that they are engaged in the issue.