Thursday, May 16, 2002

This is Your Advertising Budget on Drugs

In a not-at-all astonishing announcement, the polling firm Westat and the University of Pennsylvania reported yesterday that the federal government's anti-drug TV commercials are having no impact on teenage drug use. Children 12-18 are no less likely to use illegal drugs after viewing the commercials than before. As the White House Office of Drug Control Policy has acknowledged, in light of these results the commercials probably serve more to inform otherwise innocent kids about drugs as recreational substances and to normalize the idea of drug use among children with no other exposure to them. As the Wall Street Journal's Collin Levey points out, some of the spots trying hardest to be hip and stylish come off more as ads for drug use. I'm not sure what to be more disappointed about - the fact that millions of dollars have been wasted or that the government will now redouble its effort to propagandize in favor of drug prohibition.


No comments: