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Fern Marcya Edison
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Read to Vote

16, Nov 2009

Fern Marcya Edison
(P) 845.679.6319


‘ReadtoVote’ Activists Launch New Advertising Campaign…
”Yaddah, yadddah yaddah”

(New York, N.Y., November 16, 2009)  In September — frustrated by a nation arguing over sound bites rather than facts — marketing veterans and creators of the lauded, influential ‘Tappening’ campaign, Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum,founded and financed a campaign aimed to encourage all members of Congress, and the general public, to actually read the legislative bills being so vigorously debated in our nation.  The non-profit ‘’ — launched as a nonpartisan reaction to the confusion and misinformation surrounding what’s actually in the Healthcare and Energy bills –asks for a pledge from every congressperson, as well as the general public, to read these bills, and provides a link that allows visitors to easily download the major bills currently before Congress.

Since that time, more than one quarter million (and counting) Americans have downloaded at least one bill from the website ( and a highly animated national discourse has ensued — while not a single member of the House or Senate has taken the pledge of the campaign whose motto is, “If no one read it, we wouldn’t live it.”

“Mark and I think it’s shocking that we no longer even read the history that we’re making before we decide to make it,” says Yaverbaum, who expounds, “On the one hand, our legislators are responsible for every word of the laws they pass. On the other hand, the length and complexity of legislation is so great that they do not even read the laws they pass; hence, how can they communicate accurately to their constituents what’s in those bills? We’re really trying to make the point that…until you read the document, you can’t really debate the document…but that’s what we do. We end up debating sound bites, myths and bald-faced lies.” DiMassimo adds, “Legislation has become increasingly incomprehensible throughout the years; it needs to be shorter and clearer. This would be a good thing. The original Constitution – without amendments – is 12 pages. The current Healthcare bill is just short of 2000!”
The marketing duo is set to launch their newest ‘ReadtoVote’ advertising campaign on November 16 that will include ‘wild postings’ in five major markets, as well as leaflets ‘dropped’ in taxicabs and distributed by ‘street teams.’(To download the new ads, click on

This effort follows on the heels of earlier initiatives that included the successful recruitment of 1,018 volunteers to write one page each (in chalk) of the original House Healthcare bill on the Capitol steps (this project was cancelled when permission was not granted by the Capitol Police), and the delivery of oversized ‘postercards’ that contained every word of that bill (along with a pair of reading glasses) to every member of the House and Senate.
In a recent op-ed piece, the ReadtoVote co-founders put forth their central argument, “The original Constitution of the United States is the foundation for the most enduring constitutional government in history. If you typed the text of the original Constitution, without amendments…you would have about 12 highly readable pages…The America’s Affordable Health Choices Act is more than 1,000 pages long…Can a representative truly represent without knowing and understanding the bills he or she votes on? Can an unintelligible, impenetrable democracy really be a democracy? Can you cast an informed vote for or against something you haven’t read? {If we had} shorter, plainer bills…More of us would find that we are able to read the key legislation before Congress. We would no longer need to rely on secondhand sources to know what’s up in the halls of our legislative branch. Because our government was set up as a system of checks and balances, this would allow the people to provide the ultimate check. Because, after all, how can we choose our representatives if we can never really know what they are doing?”

An editorial in the Washington Post about the bold ReadtoVote campaign was quickly met with a flurry of impassioned feedback from readers, and the initiative has been discussed by media as widespread as MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, CNN’s Jack Cafferty and Lou Dobbs, Fox’s Neil Cavuto,The Hill, Roll Call, the Westchester Journal News, and many more.  Advertising Age said,  “…this is probably the smartest pledge drive to hit the interwebs since the interwebs was invented.”  (To see all coverage, click on

The ReadtoVote co-founders believe that the recently passed amendment by the Senate Finance Committee to post “conceptual language” online 72 hours before voting on a bill is a step in the right direction. “Posting the legislative language is a step further in the right direction,” says DiMassimo, adding that, “Perhaps one person can’t read the whole thing, but together we can. We can all identity the problematic language and then do something about changing it.” (A case in point is the controversy stirred over a section of the economic stimulus bill passed this year that limited the government’s ability to block bonuses for executives at companies receiving federal funds under last year’s bailout.)

DiMassimo and Yaverbaum plan to continue to invest in bold, brazen, educational marketing campaigns that focus on issues that are profoundly impacting the future of our country and our world.

Co-founders of the highly acclaimed Tappening movement, Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum, aim to create momentum and inspire all elected officials, as well as the general public, to actually read the bills being debated in our nation. asks for a pledge to read these bills, and provides a link that allows visitors to easily download the major bills currently before Congress.

About Tappening:
Founded in November 2007 by Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum, Tappening ( is an educational campaign designed to encourage the public to drink only tap water, and to send a message to the bottled water industry about its unnecessary and extreme waste of fossil fuels and resultant pollution of the Earth.

About DIGO:
The advertising, design, and digital Agency for a Social World™, New York City–based DIGO (short for DiMassimo Goldstein) was founded by Mark DiMassimo in 1996. Prior to that, DiMassimo created pioneering digital and interactive programs for blue chip clients, led creative on some of the most successful launches of all time, including those for the AT&T Universal Card and the Citibank AAdvantage Card, and rose to the top of the direct marketing world before jumping to a prime creative position at a boutique shop that he helped build into a thriving integrated powerhouse in only three years. When DiMassimo launched DIGO with one employee (a strategist), it quickly became one of the fastest-growing agencies in the U.S. Working with visionary clients on innovative business models, the agency evolved a unique approach that reflected the new world of the consumer.
DIGO clients have included a mix of innovative growth companies, blue chips, and social causes, including Crunch Fitness, Pfizer, Gateway, Tappening, Rare Conservation, American Red Cross, Comcast, Starwood, ESPN, thinkorswim, Investools, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, J.H. Cohn, and TV, among others. For more information, visit .

About Ericho Communications:
Founded in 2007 by best-selling author Eric Yaverbaum, Ericho Communications is a full-service public relations firm where green meets the latest that technology has to offer. The firm’s successes range from the recent launch of the first-ever video text messaging company to a new peer-to-peer video-sharing college search site to Tappening to work with Tibet. Yaverbaum is the former president of Jericho Communications, where he managed a who’s who of brand names for 21 years, including IKEA Home Furnishings, Domino’s Pizza, Subway Sandwiches and Salads, Progressive Insurance, TCBY, Sony, H&M, Bell Atlantic, American Express, and many more. Yaverbaum is also the author of five books (with a sixth to be published this fall), including PR for Dummies, which is required reading in marketing classes at 57 U.S. universities. His last book, The Everything Leadership Book, was published in 2008. Ericho Communications has offices in New York City, White Plains, NY, and Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit .

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