Sakota is highly regarded here for his role in helping bring to trial in Tokyo a Japanese man charged with hiring assassins to murder his wife in Los Angeles in 1980. Sakota was recommended for the JAC anti-drug ad by Ken Kusuhara, a Dentsu employee who met Sakota in Japan in 1991.
Kusuhara decided that Sakota's persona was "perfect for an antidrug campaign" and in the middle of last year Dentsu presented the idea to JAC. The copy accompanying Sakota's image reads, "Streets teeming with addicts innocent people murdered by junides out of their minds parents unaware that even their primary school children are users."
"For the JAC ads we needed something as strong as the Sakota drug-fighting image," says Akira Yoshida, Dentsu's director of creative services for Central Japan, in Nagoya, where the ad was produced. "Jimmy Sakota helped make the ad hard-hitting."
Sakota notes that although Japan had a drug problem even before World War II, it has now become quite serious. "In Japan nobody believes a drug problem like America's could happen to them, but believe me, it could," says Sakota. "We need anti-drug ads."
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)