Parabon Snapshot Puts a Face on Litterbugs

Ogilvy & Mather "The Face of Litter" Campaign Launches on
Global Earth Day to Support Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge

22 April 2015

Reston, Va. - Parabon NanoLabs, Inc. (Parabon) announced today the company's participation in an innovative public service campaign launched by Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong to raise awareness of the staggering litter problem in Hong Kong. In support of the 15th annual Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge, organized by Ecozine and The Nature Conservancy, Ogilvy is using Parabon's Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service to reveal some of the contributors to the city's litter epidemic.

Ogilvy targeted key locations in Hong Kong, where a staggering sixteen thousand tons of waste is dumped every day, to collect, analyze and create DNA-based composites of litterbugs using Snapshot. Poster portraits of the perpetrators will be placed across the city, as well as online. Ogilvy will also promote a video on the social experiment, warning people not to litter at the risk of becoming the next face of litter.

A Snapshot composite is a descriptive profile created from any human DNA sample, even minute quantities of DNA deposited by littering. By translating the genetic content of DNA, Snapshot predicts physical characteristics including skin pigmentation, eye and hair color, face morphology, sex, and genomic ancestry, and can identify distant familial relationships between samples. Although Snapshot was originally developed as a forensic tool to help generate investigative leads and identify unknown remains, the Ogilvy team is using the service to generate composites of otherwise anonymous litterers as a powerful medium for raising environmental awareness.

"This campaign is one of a kind. It's our own science experiment that we're using to create social change. Litter is such a major problem in Hong Kong and thanks to newly available DNA technology from Parabon, we can now put a face to this anonymous crime and get people to think twice about littering," Reed Collins, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong explained.

Dr. Ellen McRae Greytak, Parabon's Director of Bioinformatics added, "While Snapshot is more commonly used within the law enforcement and investigative communities to solve cold cases, this campaign proves Snapshot's usefulness to the public in a whole new way and we're delighted to be a part of it."

More information can be found at or by calling (703) 689-9689 x250.

About Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.

Parabon NanoLabs is a vertically integrated DNA technology company that develops next-generation forensic and therapeutic products, which leverage the enormous power of DNA. Staffed by a uniquely qualified team of scientists and technologists, with expertise ranging from bioinformatics and chemistry to computer science and pharmacology, Parabon is bringing to market revolutionary new products and services made possible by recent advances in DNA sequencing, analysis and manufacturing technologies.

About Ogilvy & Mather

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. It was named the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for three consecutive years, 2012, 2013, and 2014; and the EFFIEs World's Most Effective Agency Network for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013. The company is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; health care communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M serves Fortune Global 500 companies, as well as local businesses through its network of more than 500 offices in 126 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit or follow Ogilvy on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on

About the Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge

Hong Kong Cleanup is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, together with organizer Ecozine and co-organizer The Nature Conservancy. The Challenge has become a civic movement, and is being hailed as the region's largest volunteer environmental event. It has engaged over 200,000 Hong Kong people in cleaning up litter from our beautiful coastlines, country parks and urban areas. The campaign is raising awareness, empowering citizens, advocating for change and collecting data to help reduce waste at the source.

Media Contacts

Parabon NanoLabs
Paula Armentrout
P: 703.689.9689 x250

Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong
Anna Mugglestone
P: +852.2884.8685

PR Contact
Laura Burgess Marketing
P: 252.288.5805