It’s Official: $1 Bil. Review Is a Go

President Clinton signed legislation Friday morning that creates an unprecedented $1 billion budget for an anti-drug advertising effort over the next five years.
Congress passed the appropriation of $178 million for 1998 and $195 million annually for the following four years, as expected.
The White House Office of Drug Control Policy, sometime after Jan. 1, 1998, will conduct a review for an ad agency or media buying service to place media, said Alan Levitt, senior adviser and chief of the education branch of the Office of Drug Control Policy. Porter/Novelli of Washington, D.C., is drafting the questionnaire for the review.
The drug policy office intends “that the Partnership [for a Drug Free-America] will produce all the television, radio and print messages that will be developed,” Levitt said. He added that additional creative work may be needed from other sources for collateral, brochures, matching PSAs, Internet projects and sports promotions.
Levitt also said that there will be two short campaigns beginning next year, but that the first long-term effort will start in the summer of 1998. “This will be the most publicly scrutinized government campaign ever,” Levitt said. “And it will be a very public process how we develop this.”
Panels of experts have been hired to review the research and strategy of the partnership, which uses pro bono work from agencies throughout country. Partnership officials have made it clear that they want creative control of the work, even if it stokes controversy, as it has in the past.