Teens Tell America What Stands Between Them and Drugs

Youth to Appear in National Ad Campaign



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Fleishman Hillard, Outreach Contractor for the

    WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight new advertisements featuring
 teens from across the country who have spoken out on what stands between them
 and drugs will debut on Network television and in other media beginning this
 week as part of the "My Anti-Drug" initiative of the National Youth Anti-Drug
 Media Campaign.
     The "My Anti-Drug" effort kicked-off on September 1, 2000 with a national
 integrated marketing campaign designed to encourage real kids to tell their
 peers what for them is more important than drugs (their "Anti-Drugs").
 Directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the youth initiative
 is a component of a $185-million media campaign to encourage youth to reject
 drugs.
     More than 75,000 children ages 9-17 have shared their Anti-Drugs since the
 campaign began last fall. The most common deterrents include family, sports
 and music followed by friends, hobbies, feelings of self-worth, and their
 future. Submissions came in through Media Campaign Web sites, including its
 premier site for youth (http://www.freevibe.com ), through the mail, and
 through the support of partnerships with 40 of the nation's largest
 multicultural and community organizations.  Special events to create long-
 lasting community Anti-Drug murals were also held in seven cities involving
 thousands of kids.
     "The positive reaction from America's youth supports statistics that say
 most kids are not involved in drugs. Today's youth are too busy with other
 positive activities and hobbies, schoolwork, sports, faith and family life,"
 ONDCP Acting Director Edward H. Jurith said.  The 1999 National Household
 Survey on Drug Abuse found that more than 70 percent of kids aged 12-17 have
 never used an illegal drug.
     "Our media campaign has received impressive responses from thousands of
 youth across the country and engaged millions more in thinking about their own
 Anti-Drugs," Jurith said.
     The eight ads will run from April 9 through June 30 in media popular among
 teenagers, including specific multicultural magazines that appeal to kids of
 ethnic backgrounds. All of the ads were developed in conjunction with the
 Partnership for a Drug-Free America and created on a pro bono basis by New
 York ad agency Merekley Newman Harty.
     Each ad was designed to appeal to the aspirations of kids today. The teens
 chosen for the ads were selected based on writings and illustrations they
 submitted to the Media Campaign from September through November 2000. Their
 Anti-Drugs: drawing, future, basketball, writing, cross country running,
 softball, skateboarding, and clay animation illustrate the diverse interests
 kids have today.
     "I don't do drugs because they are bad and they can keep you away from
 your goals," Jakia Staley, 13 of Fort Washington, MD, said. "One day I plan to
 become a healthy WNBA basketball player and a successful accountant." Jakia is
 featured in a radio ad, "Basketball," with her mother Raquel Spencer, who she
 says is the person she most admires.
     Many of the other kids also cite a relative or friend as a significant
 influence in their lives. Brandon Kimball, 15 of Franklin, PA, featured in the
 television commercial "Drawing," said his interest in drawing came from his
 grandfather. Willy Albright, 12 of Essex, VT, featured in a print ad, credits
 his cousin, mom and grandfather for their encouragement in nurturing his love
 of skateboarding.
     Drugs have personally affected Maria Disla, 17 of New York, NY. She has
 known people who abuse drugs and has observed that many teens try drugs
 because of their siblings or older friends. This taught her to follow her own
 thoughts. She says her school sports coach has been a strong influencer in her
 Anti-Drug, baseball, another of the print ads.
     Quoting from his radio ad, "Writing," John Hardy, 15 of Tyler, TX, told
 the Campaign that:  "I would give a friend a copy of my limericks if he were
 thinking about doing drugs. 'Have you ever heard about Donna who smoked
 marijuana?' When they stopped laughing they would realize that drugs are
 stupid."
 
     Television
     In each of the two television ads, the real kids are portrayed as animated
 characters that experience real-life situations that affirm the importance of
 their Anti-Drug. In the final frames the animation fades to the real teen who
 states his/her Anti-Drug to the camera.
 
     "Drawing"
     Brandon Kimball, 15 of Franklin, PA
     Brandon's ad portrays a boy with a vivid imagination who draws himself in
 and out of various situations. During the ad, he is approached and offered
 drugs. The boy rejects them by drawing his way out of the scenario and riding
 off into the sunset on a motorcycle with his girlfriend.
 
     "My Future"
     Heather Mitchell, 18 of Pembroke, MA
     The animated ad begins with a girl looking at herself in a mirror and
 daydreaming about all the possibilities her life has to offer. It then
 transitions into the girl determining that drugs will never be part of her
 future and that her life has great potential.
 
 
     Radio
     The three radio ads were recorded on-location -- close to the homes of the
 teens -- in order to capture the genuine atmosphere that inspired their Anti-
 Drugs.
 
     "Cross Country Running"
     James Schleicher, 16 of Austin, Texas
     While circling his school's track, James talks about the natural high he
 experiences while running.
 
     "Writing"
     John Hardy, 13 of Tyler, Texas
     John performs some Anti-Drug limericks he wrote in a creative writing
 class.
 
     "Basketball"
     Jakia Staley, 13 of Fort Washington, Maryland
     Jakia and her mom, Raquel Spencer, talk about their close relationship,
 while Jakia dribbles and shoots hoops.
 
 
     Print
     The print ads combine a photo of the actual youth with an illustration of
 them. The ads show that through their Anti-Drugs each is able to overcome
 drugs and aspire to his or her best potential.
 
     "Skateboarding"
     Willy Albright, 12 of Essex, Vermont
     Willy soars on a skateboard over a cityscape, in which the TV antennas
 appear as hypodermic needles.
 
     "Softball"
     Maria Disla, 17 of New York, New York
     Maria swings a bat at home plate and shatters a pill instead of a ball.
 
     "Clay Animation"
     Ryan McCulloch, 17 of Vacaville, California
     A mixed-media portrait of Ryan made up of things significant to his life.
 Ryan shows how his talent in molding clay gives him the ability to transform
 bad things into good, including changing drugs into his passion, clay
 animation.
 
     "What's Your Anti-Drug?" is an integrated communications effort designed
 to engage, educate and empower all youth to reject illicit drugs.  The
 Campaign includes community outreach through more than 40 of the nation's
 largest service organizations, including: YMCA of the USA, US Hispanic
 Leadership Institute, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Youth Service
 America, National Urban League Partnership, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and
 the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
 
     In 1998, Congress created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to
 educate and empower youth to reject illicit drugs.  The Campaign relies on ads
 developed by PDFA and an integrated marketing effort with an unprecedented
 blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit community service
 organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications, to reach
 Americans of diverse backgrounds wherever they work, learn, live, play, or
 practice their faith.
 
 

SOURCE Fleishman Hillard, Outreach Contractor for the
    WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight new advertisements featuring
 teens from across the country who have spoken out on what stands between them
 and drugs will debut on Network television and in other media beginning this
 week as part of the "My Anti-Drug" initiative of the National Youth Anti-Drug
 Media Campaign.
     The "My Anti-Drug" effort kicked-off on September 1, 2000 with a national
 integrated marketing campaign designed to encourage real kids to tell their
 peers what for them is more important than drugs (their "Anti-Drugs").
 Directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the youth initiative
 is a component of a $185-million media campaign to encourage youth to reject
 drugs.
     More than 75,000 children ages 9-17 have shared their Anti-Drugs since the
 campaign began last fall. The most common deterrents include family, sports
 and music followed by friends, hobbies, feelings of self-worth, and their
 future. Submissions came in through Media Campaign Web sites, including its
 premier site for youth (http://www.freevibe.com ), through the mail, and
 through the support of partnerships with 40 of the nation's largest
 multicultural and community organizations.  Special events to create long-
 lasting community Anti-Drug murals were also held in seven cities involving
 thousands of kids.
     "The positive reaction from America's youth supports statistics that say
 most kids are not involved in drugs. Today's youth are too busy with other
 positive activities and hobbies, schoolwork, sports, faith and family life,"
 ONDCP Acting Director Edward H. Jurith said.  The 1999 National Household
 Survey on Drug Abuse found that more than 70 percent of kids aged 12-17 have
 never used an illegal drug.
     "Our media campaign has received impressive responses from thousands of
 youth across the country and engaged millions more in thinking about their own
 Anti-Drugs," Jurith said.
     The eight ads will run from April 9 through June 30 in media popular among
 teenagers, including specific multicultural magazines that appeal to kids of
 ethnic backgrounds. All of the ads were developed in conjunction with the
 Partnership for a Drug-Free America and created on a pro bono basis by New
 York ad agency Merekley Newman Harty.
     Each ad was designed to appeal to the aspirations of kids today. The teens
 chosen for the ads were selected based on writings and illustrations they
 submitted to the Media Campaign from September through November 2000. Their
 Anti-Drugs: drawing, future, basketball, writing, cross country running,
 softball, skateboarding, and clay animation illustrate the diverse interests
 kids have today.
     "I don't do drugs because they are bad and they can keep you away from
 your goals," Jakia Staley, 13 of Fort Washington, MD, said. "One day I plan to
 become a healthy WNBA basketball player and a successful accountant." Jakia is
 featured in a radio ad, "Basketball," with her mother Raquel Spencer, who she
 says is the person she most admires.
     Many of the other kids also cite a relative or friend as a significant
 influence in their lives. Brandon Kimball, 15 of Franklin, PA, featured in the
 television commercial "Drawing," said his interest in drawing came from his
 grandfather. Willy Albright, 12 of Essex, VT, featured in a print ad, credits
 his cousin, mom and grandfather for their encouragement in nurturing his love
 of skateboarding.
     Drugs have personally affected Maria Disla, 17 of New York, NY. She has
 known people who abuse drugs and has observed that many teens try drugs
 because of their siblings or older friends. This taught her to follow her own
 thoughts. She says her school sports coach has been a strong influencer in her
 Anti-Drug, baseball, another of the print ads.
     Quoting from his radio ad, "Writing," John Hardy, 15 of Tyler, TX, told
 the Campaign that:  "I would give a friend a copy of my limericks if he were
 thinking about doing drugs. 'Have you ever heard about Donna who smoked
 marijuana?' When they stopped laughing they would realize that drugs are
 stupid."
 
     Television
     In each of the two television ads, the real kids are portrayed as animated
 characters that experience real-life situations that affirm the importance of
 their Anti-Drug. In the final frames the animation fades to the real teen who
 states his/her Anti-Drug to the camera.
 
     "Drawing"
     Brandon Kimball, 15 of Franklin, PA
     Brandon's ad portrays a boy with a vivid imagination who draws himself in
 and out of various situations. During the ad, he is approached and offered
 drugs. The boy rejects them by drawing his way out of the scenario and riding
 off into the sunset on a motorcycle with his girlfriend.
 
     "My Future"
     Heather Mitchell, 18 of Pembroke, MA
     The animated ad begins with a girl looking at herself in a mirror and
 daydreaming about all the possibilities her life has to offer. It then
 transitions into the girl determining that drugs will never be part of her
 future and that her life has great potential.
 
 
     Radio
     The three radio ads were recorded on-location -- close to the homes of the
 teens -- in order to capture the genuine atmosphere that inspired their Anti-
 Drugs.
 
     "Cross Country Running"
     James Schleicher, 16 of Austin, Texas
     While circling his school's track, James talks about the natural high he
 experiences while running.
 
     "Writing"
     John Hardy, 13 of Tyler, Texas
     John performs some Anti-Drug limericks he wrote in a creative writing
 class.
 
     "Basketball"
     Jakia Staley, 13 of Fort Washington, Maryland
     Jakia and her mom, Raquel Spencer, talk about their close relationship,
 while Jakia dribbles and shoots hoops.
 
 
     Print
     The print ads combine a photo of the actual youth with an illustration of
 them. The ads show that through their Anti-Drugs each is able to overcome
 drugs and aspire to his or her best potential.
 
     "Skateboarding"
     Willy Albright, 12 of Essex, Vermont
     Willy soars on a skateboard over a cityscape, in which the TV antennas
 appear as hypodermic needles.
 
     "Softball"
     Maria Disla, 17 of New York, New York
     Maria swings a bat at home plate and shatters a pill instead of a ball.
 
     "Clay Animation"
     Ryan McCulloch, 17 of Vacaville, California
     A mixed-media portrait of Ryan made up of things significant to his life.
 Ryan shows how his talent in molding clay gives him the ability to transform
 bad things into good, including changing drugs into his passion, clay
 animation.
 
     "What's Your Anti-Drug?" is an integrated communications effort designed
 to engage, educate and empower all youth to reject illicit drugs.  The
 Campaign includes community outreach through more than 40 of the nation's
 largest service organizations, including: YMCA of the USA, US Hispanic
 Leadership Institute, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Youth Service
 America, National Urban League Partnership, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and
 the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
 
     In 1998, Congress created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to
 educate and empower youth to reject illicit drugs.  The Campaign relies on ads
 developed by PDFA and an integrated marketing effort with an unprecedented
 blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit community service
 organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications, to reach
 Americans of diverse backgrounds wherever they work, learn, live, play, or
 practice their faith.
 
 SOURCE  Fleishman Hillard, Outreach Contractor for the