To battle the rapidly increasing use of so-called "club drugs," the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs is preparing to launch an initiative aimed at 16-21-year-olds.
Lawrence & Ponder Ideaworks is working with the state on a campaign that will address the use of such drugs as Ecstasy, GHB, "Roofies" and acid, said agency president and creative director Lynda Lawrence. The Newport Beach, Calif., shop won the business following a review of undisclosed contenders.
L&P Ideaworks is currently working on naming the new program and developing a logo, and has also conducted focus-group research with the target audience.
"They said to us, 'We're the DARE generation, don't Nancy Reagan us, don't "Just say no." ' Our strategy will be to get out the real facts about drugs," Lawrence said.
The effort comes amid evidence that club-drug use is on the rise and reaching a younger set of kids. A recent California Student Survey, for example, indicated that nearly 2 percent of seventh graders surveyed had used Ecstasy in the past six months. That number jumped to 5 percent among ninth graders and nearly 10 percent among 11th graders.
The account is budgeted at less than $1 million for the next year, with TV spots planned to run as PSAs. There will also be a guerrilla-marketing component.
The TV spots are expected to break before the end of the year and will likely include celebrities—a state mandate, Lawrence said. State officials did not return calls seeking comment.
L&P Ideaworks has added roughly $4-5 million in billings in the last two months. The agency also picked up ¡Una Mas!, a chain of quick-casual Mexican restaurants, as well as the Western Growers Association, which represents 3,500 farmers in California.
The 34-person shop also works with clients such as the WIC Supplemental Food Program, Planned Parenthood, READ California and Second Harvest Food Bank.