Senate ONDCP Bill Seeks to Bar Ogilvy

WASHINGTON, D.C. A bill introduced on Friday in the U.S. Senate reauthorizing the White House’s anti-drug media campaign would bar WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather from working on the effort.

The measure gives the Partnership for a Drug-Free America equal control over strategy and requires that 85 percent of the campaign’s $145 million budget for next year be spent on media buys.

Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Republicans Charles Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah sponsor the bill.

Grassley noted his concern about the campaign when the bill was introduced.

“I will be honest: I am still not convinced that this program makes the best possible use of drug-prevention dollars,” Grassley said. “Almost everyone I’ve talked to believes our prevention efforts will be better with the campaign than without it, even if the evidence that the campaign makes a difference is questionable, at best. If the campaign is going to continue…I think it’s important that it gets back to the parameters that were established when it was initially pitched to and authorized by Congress.”

Senate unhappiness with the Office of National Drug Control Policy campaign surfaced when a draft of the legislation began circulating in Congress last week [Adweek, Nov. 10].