Pubdate: Fri, 26 Jan 2018
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2018 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Brad Branan



Critics said this ad promoted drug use. Now the state of California
has pulled it

Video: The campaign, released ahead of California legalizing marijuana 
on Jan. 1, stirred controversy with viewers over its descriptions of the 
drug. California Office of Traffic Safety

The California Office of Traffic Safety has pulled a public service
advertisement that was intended to stop stoned driving but critics
said promoted marijuana use.

The office joined with law enforcement leaders last week to announce a
marketing campaign called "DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze," which
included the controversial advertisement. The campaign was timed to
coincide with the start of recreational weed sales in California on
Jan. 1.

The first 20 seconds of the 30-second ad features people talking about
why they use marijuana before they say they don't drive after
consuming cannabis.

"It makes me feel normal," one young woman says.

"OK, I love it," a young man says.

The advertisement drew complaints on social media, including some from
conservative political consultant, Rob Stutzman.

He tweeted: "This CA taxpayer funded PSA spends most air time
normalizing/promoting pot use before saying don't drive stoned.
Imagine same extolling virtues of alcohol? This is is  should nix this." -- Rob
Stutzman  January 1, 2018

In an interview, Stutzman said he's glad the ad was removed. He said
the ad's promotional aspect was unintended but clear. "They were
trying to identify with marijuana users," he said. "Unfortunately
there was another message -- promoting marijuana."

In a written statement, Office of Traffic Safety Director Rhonda Craft
said: "We are cognizant and share the concerns expressed over certain
elements of our most recent ads. As a result, we will continue to
refine and improve messaging as we move forward."

Craft and other state officials say they are concerned about the
potential for more drugged driving accidents now that any adult 21 and
older can legally buy marijuana in California. Marijuana-involved
traffic fatalities went up in Colorado after cannabis was legalized

The television campaign has been running in Sacramento, the Bay Area
and Los Angeles. The advertisement was replaced with an older one
about drugged driving. That ad is shorter and more stark than the
pulled one, and compares smoking marijuana to cigarette smoking,
noting that "smoking a joint can get you a DUI."

The pulled ad was conceived by Prosio Communications in Roseville.
Lori Prosio declined to comment about the ad's elimination or why the
agency used the criticized messaging strategy.

'Being under the influence is about impairment'
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MAP posted-by: Matt