LISTEN TO THIS > 99% Invisible | 181 - Milk Carton Kids
It's estimated that there were over 5 billion milk cartons printed with pictures of missing children, yet very few lead to finding abducted children - in fact, of the 200 children featured in the national campaign, only 2 were ever found, and one was a simple coincidence. This riveting episode explains how the carton campaign began, its relatively short shelf life, and an amazing story of one girl who was found.
It also examines the key question of how do you measure success. While the campaign did not have many direct resolutions, it did raise awareness and provide a trigger for families to discuss safety. But it also scared the crap of kids and intensified the fear of stranger danger. The national campaign only last two years and ended over 30 years ago, yet the iconic images are still referred to regularly.