Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters unveils its first major anti-drugs campaign
for the Government this week in a pounds 1.5 million drive to warn young
people about the dangers of taking Ecstasy.
The work is the Health Education Authority’s first full-scale offensive
against Ecstasy usage following the death last year of Leah Betts after
taking the drug on her 18th birthday.
The HEA has dropped the Government’s previous general anti-drugs
warnings in favour of a specific campaign highlighting three types of
drug - Ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines.
Twelve ads, using Duckworth Finn’s slogan, ‘know the score’, will appear
in the youth press, while six 50-second ads will go out on radio.
Another three ads aimed at parents will run in women’s magazines, on the
grounds that children are much more likely to discuss drug problems with
their mothers than their fathers.
The HEA has decided not to use TV because it is anxious to target its
message as closely as possible to reduce the risk of glamorising drug-
taking, for example, by showing scenes of clubs and discos to children
who do not yet go to them.
To give it credibility with the young, the campaign does not take a
moral line by saying that taking drugs is wrong.
Charles Gallichan, the HEA’s director of advertising, said: ‘We are not
condoning drugs. The Government’s strategy recognises that drug-use
takes place. We are working on harm minimisation.’
The campaign addresses the problem as a health issue because HEA
research among 5,000 youngsters has found that many are worried about
the impact that drugs have on their physical well-being.
Some of the ads show a diagram of a body and illustrate the physical
impact of taking the three drugs. For example, young people can develop
spots and hair that is in bad condition, and they may suffer from
The ads were written by James Fryer and art directed by Mike London.
It is Duckworth Finn’s first heavyweight campaign since it picked up the
drugs account last year.