White House Drug Czar Unveils New Ad Campaign

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NEW YORK -- White House drug czar John Walters unveiled a new ad
campaign Wednesday intended to coax parents and friends to confront
drug-using teenagers.

"Young people have the power to help steer their friends who have
veered into the dangerous world of drug use back onto a safer path,"
said Walters, who heads the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In one TV ad, which will debut during the fourth quarter of the Super
Bowl on Sunday, a teenage girl's descent into drugs rewinds to the
moment when her mother could have talked to her about it. In another,
parents slam the door in each other's faces to steel themselves
against their son's reaction when they confront him about drugs.

Walters was joined by Roy Bostock, chairman of the Partnership for a
Drug-Free America, and other officials at a screening of five
30-second ads at the Museum of Television and Radio in midtown.

Bostock said that since it is difficult to address drug-using teens
directly, the ads attempt "essentially to go around them _ to speak
instead to those who love and care about these kids the most, their
parents and their friends."

"Debuting these ads on Super Bowl Sunday provides us with a unique
opportunity to reach millions of parents and teens simultaneously," he
said.

The ads were created pro bono by Foote Cone & Belding and Ogilvy and
Mather. Under a deal worked out in 1997, television networks provide
ad time at a 50 percent discount.

Walters' office has been under pressure to prove that its ads work. A
2002 study found that teens exposed to federal anti-drug ads were no
less likely to use drugs, and some young girls said they were even
more likely to give drugs a try.

Bostock, a veteran advertising executive, said the new ads have been
submitted to "the most rigorous testing I have ever seen."


Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jan 2004
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2004 Newsday Inc.
Contact: letters@newsday.com
Website: Newsday | Long Island's & NYC's News Source