St Luke’s triumphs in anti-drugs pitch

St Luke’s has emerged as the surprise winner of the Government’s anti-drugs push, beating the award-winning incumbent, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, BMP DDB, and Ogilvy & Mather.

St Luke’s has emerged as the surprise winner of the Government’s

anti-drugs push, beating the award-winning incumbent, Duckworth Finn

Grubb Waters, BMP DDB, and Ogilvy & Mather.



The appointment comes in the same week that the drugs ’czar’, Keith

Hellawell, faces criticism over his ten-year drug strategy after the

latest figures showed a sharp increase in drug-related crime.



The advertising task, the pounds 2.5 million promotion of the Department

of Health’s National Drugs Helpline, was widely expected to go to

Duckworth Finn after its work scooped the top prize at the IPA

Advertising Effectiveness Awards in 1998.



Duckworth Finn’s campaign highlighted the effects of using different

kinds of drugs such as ecstasy on the mind and body and featured the

line, ’know the score’.



But the win proved controversial, with some questioning if the

advertising was directly responsible for claims such as an pounds 11

million saving for British industry by cutting down on drug-related

illness.



The ads appeared in the youth press and on radio and marked the

Government’s first full-scale offensive against recreational drug use

after the death of the ecstasy victim, Leah Betts.



But the new campaign is intended to take a very different approach. The

Government wants to encourage young people to seek advice and

information via a national telephone helpline.



It is hoped that by providing accurate information, young people will be

able to weigh up the risks and make up their own minds about drug

use.



’The danger with ads that mention specific drugs is that you end up

promoting them,’ a government source said.



It is understood that the advice line will be the main focus of the

Department of Health’s anti-drugs strategy. St Luke’s has been appointed

to create a non-patronising but exciting way of encouraging 11- to

16-year-olds to use the service.



There are two target groups within the age band: young people who have

taken drugs, and those who are tempted to try but are unwilling to

discuss the issue with older people such as their parents.



The first work will be a pounds 400,000 radio campaign with other

activity including press set to follow later in the year.



Previous campaigns have been controlled by the Health Education

Authority (HEA) which is in the process of becoming the Health

Development Agency.



Advertising work is being overseen by the Department of Health, in

partnership with the COI.



Both St Luke’s and Duckworth Finn were unavailable for comment.



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