Don’t Be An Asterisk at the Olympics

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Ad Council have launched a public awareness campaign focused on teen steroid use. Funded by Johnson & Johnson, sponsors of the US Olympic team, the campaign uses the image of “asterisk” to refer to athletes who are disqualified or banned from sport because of their use of steroids. A TV commercial, radio and print advertising campaign link up with an interactive web site,, connecting with soccer and swimming.

Adcouncil Asterisk print advertisement

Adcouncil Asterisk print advertisement

Adcouncil Asterisk print advertisement

“When you take steroids, there’s no hiding it. Eventually everyone will see you for what you really are. A fake. A fraud. An asterisk.”

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Asterisk campaign was developed at TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York by executive creative director Gary Schein, associate creative directors Ron Castaldo and Jared Rubin, art director Einav Jacubovich, copywriter Melissa Pincus, art producer Kasia Dietz and agency (TV) producer Winslow Dennis.

The print advertisement was photographed by Tim Tadder via Photo Group, with producer Peter Strongwater, and retoucher Paul Lang at The Orange Apple.

Filming for the TV ad was shot by director Nannette Burstein via Hungry Man with executive producer Kevin Byrne, producer Rich Krekian, director of photography Adam Beckman.

Editor was Steve Bell at Cosmostreet with producer Julie Gagliardi and assistant editor Michael Young.

Visual effects were developed at Riot, New York, by executive producer Brent Holt, producer Peter Stanik, lead Flame artist Matt Reilly.

Colourist was Billy Cabor at Company 3, New York. Sound was mixed at Sound Lounge by Eric Warzecha.