HHS agency awards $7m underage drinking campaign to Synergy

The contract covers the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration campaign Talk. They Hear You.

Still from SAMHSA's Talk. They Hear You. PSA (via YouTube)
Still from SAMHSA's Talk. They Hear You. PSA (via YouTube)

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $7 million contract for an anti-underage drinking campaign to Maryland-based firm Synergy Enterprises.

The account was awarded through the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support the ongoing Talk. They Hear You. campaign that began in 2014. The contract has one base year with four option years, with fees totaling no more than $7.4 million over five years.

The goal of the Talk. They Hear You. campaign is to reach parents or caregivers of children ages nine to 15 and encourage them to talk to children about the risks of underage alcohol consumption and abuse. It includes PSAs, a website, and tools to help parents start the conversation about alcohol with their kids, according to solicitation documents.

The campaign was mandated by the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act. The push includes a national media campaign including TV ads, PSAs, and print ads in both English and Spanish, as well as maintaining its website and mobile app.

Synergy Enterprises has worked with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on several campaigns including campaigns for National Recovery Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, suicide prevention, and wellness initiatives, according to its website.

The firm also works with other government agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Department of Education.

Representatives from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Synergy could not be immediately reached for comment.

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