NEWS: Duckworth Finn unveils anti-drug ad

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.

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

health.’