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February 08, 2007

Bush wants to boost funding for useless anti-drug ads

The Politico notes that George W. Bush is calling to increase funding for an anti-drug ad program that has been shown to be worthless:

The administration has asked for a 31 percent increase in funding for the advertising campaign that a nearly five-year study concluded had increased the likelihood that all teens would smoke marijuana. The White House proposal would increase the program's budget to $130 million over the next year.

Last August, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office urged Congress to end the White House's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign:

The report by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, confirmed the results of a $43 million, government-funded study that found the campaign did not work. That evaluation, by Westat Inc. and the University of Pennsylvania, said parents and youths remembered the ads and their messages. But the study said exposure to the ads did not change kids' attitudes about drugs and that the reduction in drug use in recent years could be attributed more directly to a range of other factors, such as a decline in high school dropouts. [USA Today]

Dr. Carson Wagner, who studies advertising at the University of Texas at Austin notes that the government spends $195 million annually to purchase airtime from these ads, which may actually pique kids' interest in drugs.


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You gotta have faith-a, faith-a, faith. You gotta have faith.

"Why did you waste all of our money, son? Where did you learn to do this?"


Has anyone seen an anti-drug PSA that discourages the use of cocaine since Shrub has been in office ? Just askin'

Hey a Shrub reference! Nice Rose. I really wish this name would get more use.

This stupid $130M proposal reminds me of the movie "Dave" with Kevin Klein, where he trims the budget, and gets rid of a $50M add campaign to make feel good about a car they already bought. The Shrub is no Dave!

These ads have not just proven ineffective, they may have an unintended opposite effect. Back when I was an inveterate pot smoker, these ads only served to remind me that I hadn't hit the bong recently. Ha!


Every anti-drug ad is actually a drug ad, or, as the old wisdom has it, "Every knock is a boost."

The reason programs like these are known as "faith-based initiatives" is because they don't qualify for the standard of "evidence-based initiatives".

Gosh I hope the Age of Reason reaches the White House sometime during my lifetime.

If it's a War on Drugs,
shouldn't we invade Philip Morris?

This is the Bush administration we're talking about.

Actual results matter very little, and expert reports even less so.

the money isn't being spent to stop, or even reduce drug use. the money is being spent so bush can point to it and then say he's sufficiently anti-drug. it's very important that people know how ineffective these kinds of campaigns are, because then maybe they wouldn't be so easily fooled by another "just say no" white guy.
and anyway, if you asked americans if they would rather spend a night with george bush or a night with marijuana, i have little doubt which would prevail.

What the anti drug campaign is: a 1/2 a billion dollar payout to advertising and broadcasters to help keep them pro-administration. At least clinton didn't have a study that pointed out the lack of effectiveness so he can't be blamed.

I think you need to rethink your use of the word useless...

In terms of payout to large media conglomerates for expensive ad time, putting taxpayer monies straight into their pockets I find these ads very effective and useful... oh, there is supposed to be another point to them?

"The Politico notes that George W. Bush is calling to increase funding for an anti-drug ad program that has been shown to be worthless[.]"

Is there a surprise to be had here? Bush has increased funding for a useless war innumerable times already, this domestic bullcrap is a drop in the hat compared to the possible multi-trillion sum going down the rathole overseas.

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