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Congress May Decrease Funding To White House Anti-Drug Ad Campaign

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Congress May Decrease Funding To White House Anti-Drug Ad Campaign, Oust Ogilvy & Mather

    November 13, 2003 - Washington, DC, USA

    Washington, DC: A House-Senate conference committee this week recommended to slightly decrease federal funding for the White House's anti-drug ad campaign from approximately $180 million per year to $145 million, according to the trade journal Ad Week. The White House had requested funding of $170 million.

    The ad campaign, which began in 1997, has spent more than $1.2 billion dollars promoting public service announcements linking recreational marijuana use to international terrorism, among other anti-drug themes. However, a federally funded review of the program released earlier this year found that teens who were most exposed to the campaign's ads tended to "move more markedly in a 'pro-drug' direction as they aged than those who were exposed to less."

    NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said, "The fact that the Senate is considering for the first time ever cutting funding to the 'National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign' is evidence that even America's drug warriors are getting the message that lying to youth about the alleged dangers of drugs, and in particular marijuana, is an ineffective strategy that does greater harm than good."

    Sources familiar with the pending Senate legislation also reported to Ad Week that the bill would sever ties with the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather and give creative control of the campaign's content to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Ogilvy & Mather had previously raised the ire of several politicians two years ago after a General Accounting Office report revealed that they had overbilled the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy by some 3,100 hours.

    "If you are putting together a campaign where the purpose is to change beliefs, you don't want someone with questionable morals trying to preach the message," an unnamed source told Ad Week.

    For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751.

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