The explosion of e-commerce is drawing raves, but the Office of National Drug Control Policy knows the Internet can promote social change, too.
The explosion of e-commerce is drawing raves, but the Office of
National Drug Control Policy knows the Internet can promote social
With the help of PR giant Fleishman-Hillard, it has launched the boldest
communications offensive ever against illegal drugs.
Congress authorized the drug policy office to initiate a five-year,
dollars 1 billion ’National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.’ The private
sector is matching that amount in goods and services. To raise awareness
and concern about illegal drug use, the effort employs traditional
But to promote lasting behavioral changes, the campaign uses an
integrated strategy. An important element of that is PR: Fleishman is
working with interactive ad agency OgilvyOne (New York) on a
comprehensive Web campaign.
The plan calls for a ’surround sound’ strategy: anti-drug messages
online will come from the campaign, in addition to other sources.
Impressionable ’tweens’ (11-to-13 year olds) are a principal target,
since avoiding drug use in those years makes it less likely serious
problems will develop later on. Parents and caregivers are another
The campaign has produced seven web sites, including two ’flagships.’
Freevibe provides anti-drug information to tweens and teens.
Theantidrug.com is for parents and adult mentors. But F-H SVP Aili
Jokela insists the goal is to ’be everywhere’ through partnerships and
online editorial outreach.
The drug policy office’s partnership with Marvel Comics has put Spider
Man comics online that contain anti-drug messages. Similarly, the
office’s associate sponsorship of ESPN’s summer X games gave F-H the
opportunity to interview athletes on why kids should ’get vertical, not
high.’ Responses generated editorial material for the web sites.
Kids seeking information about illegal drugs on search engines will find
anti-drug messages prepared by OgivlyOne with links to the drug office’s
sites that F-H developed. Similarly, the agency initiated an online
partnership with the YMCA that has anti-drug areas on its web site and
special material on an intranet for adults. A recently announced
partnership with 21st Century Teachers Network, a group that promotes
the use of technology in classrooms, will help to increase awareness of
the teachers’ guide on the Freevibe site.
’Talk Turkey Day’ was developed to provide tips for parents about
talking with their kids over Thanksgiving dinner on the importance of
avoiding illegal drug use. Adults visiting parental areas on Lycos and
AOL were able to click to the ’Talk Turkey’ area on theantidrug.com.
Some Federal departments and agencies are getting involved as well. For
instance, the heavily visited ’NASA for Kids’ web site urges young kids
to ’explore space ... not drugs.’
In the first year, the campaign forged 23 online partnerships, and 40
news and other sites have carried anti-drug messages. Traffic on sites
that have provided editorial support was estimated at 36 million. Over
10 million page views occurred on the drug policy office’s official web
sites in 1999. More importantly, the office’s research shows slight
increases in tween disapproval of using marijuana and inhalants.
Look for greater Web targeting of niche audiences and work with state
and local coalitions and governments. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media
Campaign will be forging greater links with the entertainment industry
and companies, which should provide greater online opportunities.
Client: Office of National Drug Control Policy (Washington, DC)
PR Team: Fleishman-Hillard (Washington, DC)
Campaign: Anti-drug Web campaign
Time Frame: December 1998 to present
Budget: dollars 1.4 million for FH’s 1999 online PR efforts