The longest running anti-drug campaign in the UK is Talk to Frank. Yet, has it halted anybody taking drugs?
Ten years prior a police Swat group collided with a calm suburban kitchen and transformed the substance of medication education in the UK until the end of time. Out went horrid notices of how medications could "mess you up" and sincere appeals to oppose the vile pushers prowling in each play area. In came the quirky funny side and a light-hearted attitude.
In the first ad, a mother suggests to her teenage son that they have a chat about drugs so he calls the police snatch squad. The message delivered by the advert had not been heard before either: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."
Devised by the advertising agency, Mother, Frank was actually the National Drugs Helpline brand new name. Young people were meant to feel Frank was a helpful elder brother they could trust and from whom they could seek advice on illegal drugs. 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 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. Many people have high regard for the YouTube spoof videos of Frank too. As there is nothing that remotely suggests Frank is a government project, the campaign is viewed as a first occurrence funded by the government.
Teaching people about drugs is now approached in a different way, not like the days of Nancy Reagan in the UK and the cast of Grange Hill in the UK, who told us to "Just Say No" to drugs; it is evident this did not work.
Majority of the ads in Europe now follow the footsteps of Frank in trying to be sincere and allowing the teenagers the right to choose. There are still images of prison cells and hurt parents being presented in countries that have strong penalties for drugs possession. One late battle in Singapore told youthful clubbers: "You play, you pay."
Above the Influence is a campaign that mixes jokes and warning stories that the federal government has been using in the UK for a long time; it also offers positive alternatives to drugs. The stress is on chatting to youngsters by using their language - one advertisement depicts a group of "stoners" forsaken on a couch. But the scare tactics is still prevalent in majority of the campaigns against drugs around the globe, especially the "descent into hell" which is drug inspired. 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."
Ads that reveal the dangers of drug abuse mostly push frustrated people into experimenting with drugs, according to a data from the anti-drugs campaign of the UK from 1999 to 2004.
Frank was ground-breaking and criticised by Conservative politicians at the time because they felt it suggest that there were some good things to go along with all the bad about drugs.
"Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world" was used in one of the early internet ad campaigns.
Understanding the true information behind the message was very difficult. Matt Powell, the man behind the cocaine advertisement and then creative director of the digital agency, Profero, currently thinks he formed a too favourable estimate of the attention span of the typical person who browses the Internet. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. However, the goal of the ad was to be upfront with young people about the effects of drugs so that Frank could establish some accountability.
According to the Home Office, 67% of younger people in a survey stated that they would ask Frank if they required advice on drugs. The Frank helpline received 225,892 calls and the website received 3,341,777 visits between 2011 and 2012. It is evidence that the method is effective.
However, just like every other anti-drugs campaign in the world , there's no evidence that Frank has actually stopped people from taking 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.
FRANK is a state drug education services together settled by the by the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government in 2003. It's supposed to reduce the use of illegal and legal substances by teaching teens about the possible effects of alcohol and drugs. FRANK has run lots of media campaigns on radio and the internet.
FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs: