Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters launched its first work on the Government’s
anti-drugs account this week by promoting a telephone helpline on radio
and in magazines.
The campaign was given added impetus by the death last week of Leah
Betts, the 18-year-old girl who died after taking an Ecstasy tablet at
her birthday party.
The junior health minister, John Bowis, signalled the Government’s
determination to tackle drug abuse by launching Duckworth Finn’s work
this Thursday with the Health Education Authority, which runs the
campaign on behalf of the Department of Health.
But Charles Gallichan, head of advertising at the HEA, said the drive
was ‘not a knee-jerk reaction’ to the Betts death and had been planned
for some time.
Duckworth Finn, a surprise winner of the drug account in July, does not
mention individual drugs such as Ecstasy in the first phase of a three
year, pounds 14 million effort.
The launch material is low-key, with a straightforward message directed
at 11- to 25-year-olds and their parents promoting the free national
helpline. Ads in the youth press and women’s magazines will feature a
new yellow-and-black logo, devised by the agency.
Urging parents and young people to find out the facts about drugs, the
ads use the slogan ‘Know your score’.
A 30-second radio commercial includes a conversation in which a friend
advises a younger person not to experiment with drugs.
The opening phase uses only a relatively small slice of the budget, with
a bigger blitz and a more creative approach planned for next year.
The campaign avoids moral judgments about drugs and concentrates on the
health risks. ‘We will make it a health risk issue rather than a law
enforcement one,’ Gallichan said. ‘We want to counter the positive ideas
people may have about drugs with the facts about the negative effects on