The longest running anti-drug campaign in the UK is Talk to Frank. But, have people quit drug abuse through this?
The drug education in the entire UK received a total turn around ten years back when the police Swat team ran into a rural kitchen somewhere in the UK. The doom and gloom teachings coupled with pushing to keep away from the drug pushers who are everywhere was thrown out. A lighter, more humorous approach was used instead.
The first advert presented an adolescent inviting the police to come and arrest his mum because the mum wanted them to talk about drugs. The message delivered by the advert had not been heard before either: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."
Frank, the new identity for the National Drugs Helpline, was coined by the advertising agency Mother. The idea was to build a reliable "older brother" image that could provide advice to teenagers about banned substances. Frank is has become a household name among the young people due to the many adventure stories that came from the theme such as Pablo the drugs mule dog to a tour of the brain warehouse.
According to the creative director, Justin Tindall, of the advertising agency, Leo Burnett, it was important that Frank was at no time seen in the flesh so that he could never be the victim of ridicule for wearing the incorrect shoes or attempting to be "down with the kids". Surprisingly, the funny imitations of the Frank videos found on YouTube are quite polite. Also, there's no sign that Frank is a government agent - something that is rare in the history of campaigns paid for by government.
Right from the days of Nancy Reagan, a lot has been done about drugs education, and the Grange Hill cast which a lot of people opine that it did more harm than good, simply encouraged people to "Just Say No" to drugs.
The majority of the advertisements in Europe currently concentrate, like Frank, on attempting to share objective info to assist youngsters to make their own choices. You still see pictures of prison bars and upset parents, though, in countries where dealing drugs will get you in serious trouble with the law. You play, you pay is a campaign that was launched in Singapore recently.
Above the Influence, which is an ad that has lasted for a very long time to encourage young people to seek for alternatives to drugs, and which has gulped the UK government some huge amount of money combine caution and humour. One ad shows a group of "stoners" sitting on a sofa and emphasizes talking to young people in the language of their generation. Though, an unexpected number of anti-drug campaigns all over the globe still resort back to strategies intended to arouse fear or alarm, specifically the substance-fuelled plunge to hell. A classic illustration is a current Canadian business, part of the DrugsNot4Me arrangement, which demonstrates an appealing, sure young lady's change into a shuddering and hollow eyed smash-up on account of "drugs."
According to studies into a United States anti-drugs campaign between 1999 and 2004, advertisements showing the undesirable effects of substance abuse can frequently urge younger people who are marginalised to experiment with substances.
The opposition Conservative politicians were initially against Frank, simply because it pointed out the ups and downs of drug use, but it made giant strides.
Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world was one of its preliminary ads online.
It wasn't at all times simple to balance the message correctly. The person behind this cocaine ad has said that he now thinks he thought the average person browsing the web had a longer attention span. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. Establishing the integrity of the Frank brand by telling the youth the truth about drugs and their effects was the ultimate aim of the ad, Powell states.
According to the Home Office, 67% of younger people in a survey stated that they would ask Frank if they required advice on drugs. A total of 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and a total of 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. These figures provide proof that the Frank approach bears results.
Though, like with any other anti-drug media campaign around the globe, there's no proof that Frank has stopped people to use substances.
In the years since the campaign started, drug use in the UK is down by 9%; however, experts say this might be because marijuana use has declined, most like due to changing attitudes toward smoking tobacco.
FRANK was launched in 2003 as a collaborated effort of the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government as a national drug education service. It is envisioned to lessen the utilization of both lawful and illicit medications by instructing youngsters as well as teenagers about the potential impacts of medications and liquor. It has had several media campaigns on the Internet and the radio.
FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs: