The campaign against drugs that has the longest duration in the entire UK is Talk to Frank. But has it actually worked and stopped drug use?
A police Swat team in the UK burst into a kitchen of a quiet suburban home, and the results were a complete turnaround of the way drug education was done for good. People were seriously warned to stay away from the drug peddlers around sports arenas and that they could be destroyed by drugs. A lighter, more humorous approach was used instead.
In the first advertisement a teenager phoned a police team to detain his mother when she proposed that they had a peaceful discussion regarding drugs. The message was new as well: "Drugs are illicit. Discussing them isn't. So Talk to Frank."
Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice
Thought up by promotion organization Mother, Frank was, indeed, the new name for the National Drugs Helpline. It was intended to be a put stock in "elder brother" assumes that youngsters could swing to for advice concerning illegal substances. The quests of Pablo, the dog that's used as a substance mule, to a tour around a brain warehouse have been put forward under the Frank name, making it a well-known trade name amongst the youth of the nation.
According to Justin Tindall, creative director of Leo Burnett ad agency, the most important thing is that no one could accuse frank of trying to be "down with the kids," or coming out with the wrong attire. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. There's also no indication that Frank is working for the government, which is unusual for a government funded campaign.
Substance education has developed a lot since Nancy Reagan, and in the United Kingdom, Grange Hill cast encouraged teens to simply "Say No" to drugs, a campaign which several professionals now think had the opposite of the desire effect.
Frank has set the standard, and now most adverts in Europe are using the same format to equip the youth with unbiased facts to help in making their choices. You still see pictures of prison bars and upset parents, though, in countries where dealing drugs will get you in serious trouble with the law. One late battle in Singapore told youthful clubbers: "You play, you pay."
In the UK, the government has burned through millions on Above the Influence, a long-running movement that urges positive contrasting options to drug usage utilizing a blend of amusement and useful examples. One ad shows a group of "stoners" sitting on a sofa and emphasizes talking to young people in the language of their generation. But the scare tactics is still prevalent in majority of the campaigns against drugs around the globe, especially the "descent into hell" which is drug inspired. One typical example was a part of the Canadian DrugsNot4Me program showed an attractive, confident young woman then into a wasting, hollow eyes shadow at the hand of drugs.
According to studies into a United States anti-drugs campaign between 1999 and 2004, advertisements showing the undesirable effects of substance abuse can frequently urge younger people who are marginalised to experiment with substances.
Frank was ground-breaking and criticised by Conservative politicians at the time because they felt it suggest that there were some good things to go along with all the bad about drugs.
"Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world" was used in one of the early internet ad campaigns.
Balancing the message is not always easy to get right. The man in arrears the cocaine advertisement, Matt Powell, then creative director of digital agency Profero, now disbelieves he overvalued the focus span of the ordinary web browser. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. The idea behind the ad according to Powell is to make the Frank brand a more honest one by being sincere to teenagers about drugs.
According to the Home Office, 67% of younger people in a survey stated that they would ask Frank if they required advice on drugs. The Frank helpline received 225,892 calls and the website received 3,341,777 visits between 2011 and 2012. These figures provide proof that the Frank approach bears results.
Yet, similar to each other anti-drugs media battle on the planet, there is no proof Frank has ceased individuals consuming drugs.
In the years since the campaign started, drug use in the UK is down by 9%; however, experts say this might be because marijuana use has declined, most like due to changing attitudes toward smoking tobacco.
What Is Frank?
FRANK is a nationwide drug education programme designed and run by the British government's Department of Health in collaboration with the Home Office in 2003. FRANK's vision is to equip the youth with the bold facts and knowledge about the legal and illegal use of narcotics to reduce the drug use. Several media campaigns on the web and on radio have been put out by this programme.