Congress Expected to Cut Drug Czar's Ad Funding

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. We've heard this before!!!!! I wonder if it will ever really happen.

    Congress Expected to Cut Drug Czar's Ad Funding
    November 18, 2003

    Based on the recommendations of a joint congressional conference committee, and with pressure from the Alliance and our supporters, Congress will likely decrease federal anti-drug advertising funding for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from last year's figure of $150 million to $145 million next year. The six-year-old ONDCP ad campaign, budgeted at an average of $180 million per year, is best known for its perplexing television ads likening teenage drug users to terrorist fundraisers. The Bush administration had sought $170 million for the agency next year, while some in the House had sought up to $190 million. Senators who wanted to cut the ONDCP ad budget to $100 million were unable to convince the many Drug War extremists in the House to consent. Still, according to Ad Week, a leading advertising industry trade publication, $145 million would represent the “lowest budget level since the program launched.”

    In addition to being a triumph for taxpayers, a cut in ONDCP funding would be a victory for the Drug Policy Alliance and its supporters – many of whom took action by flooding conference committee member offices with phone calls demanding a reduction in funding.

    Many Senators who support the ONDCP ads, even Drug War veterans like Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), were angered by the mismanagement of the ad campaign – including the overbilling of more than 1000 hours by ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, which directed the unsuccessful campaign. Ogilvy & Mather may be replaced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America – creators of the unforgettably bizarre “brain-on-drugs” campaign - under a bill being considered in the Senate.

    In another waste of taxpayer dollars, the ONDCP recently ordered more than 100 cutting-edge thermal imaging devices from FLIR Systems, which the company lauds as “so subtle, suspects won't even know they're being tracked by a thermal detection device.” Perhaps this $1 million purchase will make it easier for ONDCP agents to look through our living room walls and watch their ineffective advertisements on our television sets.

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