In the UK, Talk to Frank has been operating the anti-drugs campaign for a long time on its own. Yet, has it halted anybody taking drugs?
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. Cautions of how drugs could cause you to become disturbed and impassioned calls to say no to the menacing pushers skulking in every single playground disappeared. In came strange humour and a light, yet energetic approach.
The first advert featured a boy calling the police snatch squad on his mother because she wanted to discuss drugs with him. The message, "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So Talk to Frank", was brand new as well.
Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice
Frank, the new identity for the National Drugs Helpline, was coined by the advertising agency Mother. It was supposed to represent a trusted, big brother figure that young people could call for advice about drugs. The quests of Pablo, the dog that's used as a substance mule, to a tour around a brain warehouse have been put forward under the Frank name, making it a well-known trade name amongst the youth of the nation.
According to Justin Tindal, the creative director of Leo Burnett the ad agency, what is of more importance is the fact that no-one ever saw Frank physically, so it was difficult for mockers to pick on him or blame him for not treating the kids right. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. As there is nothing that remotely suggests Frank is a government project, the campaign is viewed as a first occurrence funded by the government.
Drugs instruction has progressed significantly since Nancy Reagan, and in the UK, the cast of Grange Hill asked adolescents to "Simply Say No" to drugs, a movement which numerous specialists now considers was counterproductive.
Like the Frank campaign, most European ads now focus on giving unbiased information so that young people can make up their own minds. In nations with solid punishments for ownership, pictures of jail bars and disgraced guardians are still typical. A recent campaign launched in Singapore informed young people who visit clubs, "You play, you pay".
In the UK, the government has burned through millions on Above the Influence, a long-running movement that urges positive contrasting options to drug usage utilizing a blend of amusement and useful examples. In the ad, teenagers are communicated to in a manner they are familiar with, like some "stoners" being marooned on a couch. However, an amazing number of anti-drug battles far and wide still fall back on terrify strategies and specifically, the drug driven "fall into hell." The DrugsNot4Me series recently launched a commercial in Canada that shows a beautiful, self-assured young lady metamorphosis after using "drugs" into a shaking, hollow-eyed mess.
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.
Frank made brand new ground - and received a lot of criticism from the conservative opposition politicians at that time - for being brave enough to put forward that substances might provide highs and lows.
One primary online promotion educated viewers: "Cocaine makes you feel high and in charge."
It was not generally simple to get the balance of the message accurate. Matt Powell was the creative director of digital agency Profero, the company that came up with the cocaine ad; he now thinks he miscalculated the time an average user spends on browsing the internet. 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.
A 67% of the youth say they would ask Frank for advice related to drugs according to the Home Office. The Frank helpline received 225,892 calls and the website received 3,341,777 visits between 2011 and 2012. For him, this shows that the campaign is very successful.
But, we don't have any proofs that people have quit drug consumption because of Frank, just as we don't have such evidence in cases of other media campaigns against drugs.
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.
What Is Frank?
FRANK is a national service that offers drug education and was formed in 2003 by the Department of Health in partnership with Home Office of the British government. It was designed to lower the rate of both legal and illegal drug use by providing education to teenagers and young people about what the effects of using drug and alcohol could be. FRANK has run lots of media campaigns on radio and the internet.