NEWS: Duckworth Finn drugs ads raise health issue

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.

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

insomnia.



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.



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