FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ewwww!

That’s a reasonable reaction to the sticky, 2-inch-wide, purplish toy brains that will be given out in high schools beginning today.

But with this effort, North Castle Partners in Stamford, Conn., also wants to get teens talking about the dangers of prescription-drug abuse.

“When we started showing the brain to teens, they just went crazy over it,” said shop partner Grant MacDonald, adding he hopes “the grotesqueness of the brain will further the conversation about how stupid prescription-drug abuse is.”

The brains are part of a campaign, commissioned by Purdue Pharma, that also includes in-school posters and radio spots. The effort was initiated following a spate of media reports about teens using OxyContin—a painkiller the Stamford, Conn., com pany makes—recreationally. The tag line: “Painfully obvious.”

The first high schools to be targeted are in regions in which OxyContin usage has been prevalent, such as Philadelphia and West Virginia. A national rollout is expected at the beginning of next year.

This is the shop’s first work for Purdue Pharma, which in the spring awarded it the project, without a review.