Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jul 1998
Date: 07/26/1998
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Author: Richard L. Wottrich

Our federal government is spending $1 billion on an anti-drug
advertising campaign. Half of the funds will be tax money and the
other half will be industry freebies, which of course means that the
ads will be marked up to generate giant profits for the advertising
companies. Will kids at risk suddenly see the light because they see a
hip ad on TV telling them to just say no? Will some angry, heroin-chic
model in a skin-tight teddy smashing an egg with a frying pan be
relevant to a homeless 9-year-old Latino in South Miami?

These ads will coexist with the seduction of many more beer, perfume
and other conspicuous-consumption ads that utilize the allure of
intoxication in all forms to move the goods.

Our government likes the ad campaign quick fix to create the illusion
that it is doing something. What is especially insulting is that they
believe the average American buys into this fluff. There is precious
little direct scientific evidence to support the contention that
behavioral ads targeted at motivating people to cease doing something
they enjoy are effective. Effective advertising does exactly the opposite.

Richard L. Wottrich, President,
DSI Investment Banking Services