Colombia criticises Moss as 'cocaine curse' ad launches

By by Jennifer Whitehead,, Thursday, 02 November 2006 12:00PM

LONDON - Colombia is hoping to persuade European governments to run an advertising campaign, telling cocaine users of the damage that their drug-taking inflicts on the south American country.

Francisco Santos, Colombian vice-president, is in London as part of a meeting of anti-drugs professionals to show the campaign it has had created.

He has already singled out the model Kate Moss for criticism, saying that he does not understand how she became more popular after pictures were printed in the Daily Mirror that appeared to show her taking cocaine.

Moss had been widely tipped to lose most of her modelling work in light of the scandal, but instead she is more popular than ever, winning new contracts as well as a job with Top Shop designing clothes.

The Colombian government wants to coordinate with the Western world to help stamp out drug use and bring an end to the cocaine industry that has made Colombia a society where assassinations, kidnappings and landmines are commonplace.

It has launched an ad campaign, "the cocaine curse", created by Colombian agency Lowe SSPM. It highlights how cocaine users are complicit in bringing about the misery in which many Colombians live.

A TV ad shows a man with a big nose. When he snorts cocaine, a bullet is shot out of his nostril. It travels across European cities and the ocean before hitting a Colombian child playing soccer in a rural setting.

Other ads show a big-nosed character in a suit planting landmines in a field and wielding a chainsaw on a deforested hillside.

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