Broadcasters' Amber alert system is being extended to the Web.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children NCMEC has teamed with online marketers ADVO and Prospectiv to deliver geographically targeted Amber alerts via e-mails to subscribers to ADVO's Shopwise.com Web site and to Prospectiv's EverSave.com,, The KnowledgeStop.com, and Healthy-Individual.com.
The Amber alert is an early warning system for missing children that was created by broadcasters and local police in Dallas-Fort Worth in 1997. Since then, it has aided in the recovery of 204 children. The alert was named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Tex.
According to NCMEC, the e-mail alert will work this way:
When police activate an Alert, it is immediately aired on radio and TV, as well as electronic highway message boards. Now, NCMEC will also send an XML feed to Prospectiv’s server.
It will then generate an e-mail message with the child's description and broadcasts it to Shopwise and Eversave, KnowledgeStop and Healthy-Individual membership roles in relevant zip codes.
Shopwise alone reaches 112 million e-mailboxes, or some 90% of households.