Stephanie the Screener explains TSA security

The group that created Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog has a new potential icon: Stephanie the airport screener.

A $1.3 million ad campaign launched this month teams the Ad Council and the Transportation Security Administration trying to change behavior of passengers who no longer automatically accept post-Sept. 11 airport security procedures. The public relations push explains the terrorist threat and the reasons behind annoyances at checkpoints…

In a 97-second video, Washington National Airport screener Stephanie Naar gently explains that homemade bombs “are the No. 1 threat to aircraft, and we know terrorists have concealed these items in shoes.” The TSA hopes to make passengers more accepting of removing footwear at checkpoints.

The campaign also tries to prepare inexperienced travelers for screening. “It will help to relieve a lot of stress and anxiety people have when they’re traveling,” Ad Council CEO Peggy Conlon said.

Because fear has receded since Sept. 11, the TSA needs a new “spirit of cooperation” with passengers, Blue Lime said. Explaining security procedures to passengers “should translate to greater compliance,” the company concludes.

I like the part where the “TSA has been training screeners to better interact with passengers, urging them not to shout across security lanes and to chat quietly and warmly with people in line”.

Makes it all better, eh?

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