Anti-Drug Test Ads Air 12 Cities To See Pilot Spots In $19 Mil. Effort

$150 Mil. National Rollout Slated for May
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Office of National Drug Control Policy started its 12-city, $19 million anti-drug advertising test program last week, with four TV spots that aired in Washington, D.C.
The test to air anti-drug spots during paid commercial time rather than donated media is the first stage of the government’s five-year, billion-dollar anti-drug campaign, the first of its kind.
Ads also aired in San Diego on Friday. Other test markets include: Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Hartford, Conn.; Sioux City, S.D.; Boise, Idaho; Denver; Atlanta; Houston; Baltimore; and Milwaukee, said Alan Levitt, senior adviser at the ONDCP.
The spots were created by agencies affiliated with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America in New York. The first spot, from Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, features a girl who smashes up a kitchen with a frying pan as a metaphor for the damage heroin can inflict.
The ads, placed by Zenith Media in New York, will be evaluated through school surveys.
A national rollout is slated for May. About $150 million is left to buy media this year. Sources said the ONDCP will conduct a search to find a shop to handle this task on an interim basis. By spring, ONDCP hopes to start a search for an agency to handle buying over the next four years. $195 million is budgeted for each of those years.