About Talk To Frank
In the UK, Talk to Frank has been operating the anti-drugs campaign for a long time on its own. But, have people quit drug abuse through this?
The drug education in the entire UK received a total turn around ten years back when the police Swat team ran into a rural kitchen somewhere in the UK. Grim warnings about how drugs could mess you up and genuine pleas to resist the pushers that were creeping around every playground were gone. Instead, wit and fun including games were embraced.
In the main advertisement, an adolescent kid brings in a police grab squad to capture his mom when she recommends they have a tranquil chat about medications. The message, "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So Talk to Frank", was brand new as well.
Frank Cordial Private Drug Guidance
Frank, the new identity for the National Drugs Helpline, was coined by the advertising agency Mother. It was supposed to be the symbol of a reliable older brother that younger individuals can go to for guidance regarding illegal substances. To become a familiar brand with youth in the UK, the Frank label has presented everything from the adventures of pablo the drug mule to a tour of a brain warehouse.
According to the creative director, Justin Tindall, of the advertising agency, Leo Burnett, it was important that Frank was at no time seen in the flesh so that he could never be the victim of ridicule for wearing the incorrect shoes or attempting to be "down with the kids". Many people have high regard for the YouTube spoof videos of Frank too. One more thing that distinguishes Frank from other government-funded campaigns is that nothing links the ad to the government in anyway whatsoever.
Right from the days of Nancy Reagan, a lot has been done about drugs education, and the Grange Hill cast which a lot of people opine that it did more harm than good, simply encouraged people to "Just Say No" to drugs.
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. There are still images of prison cells and hurt parents being presented in countries that have strong penalties for drugs possession. You play, you pay. is the ad used to warn young people going for night clubbing in Singapore.
In the United States of America, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on a long-running campaign, Above the Influence, that sells positive possibilities to using substances by making use of a combination of funny and cautionary stories. 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 example is one of the DrugsNot4Me series in Canada that revealed how a very pretty confident woman slipped into deep-eyed wreck because of drugs.
A study carried out in the UK on anti-drugs campaign that ran between 1999 and 2004 shows that adverts that portray the negative results of drug use influence vulnerable youth to try out with the drugs.
Frank broke new ground and was abundantly critiqued by opposed Conservative politicians at the while for setting out to propose that drugs may offer highs in addition to lows.
"Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world" was used in one of the early internet ad campaigns.
Hitting the middle road with an ad to give the right message always proved to be a challenge. 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. A total of 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and a total of 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. For him, this shows that the campaign is very successful.
Though the response is good, it is no evidence that Frank just like other available anti-drug campaigns has discouraged people from indulging in drugs.
Substance use in the United Kingdom has decreased by 9% in the ten years since the campaign was introduced, though the pros say a lot of this is because of a decline in the use of cannabis use, probably connected to younger people's changing attitudes towards smoking tobacco.
What Is Frank?
FRANK was launched in 2003 as a collaborated effort of the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government as a national drug education service. It was designed to lower the rate of both legal and illegal drug use by providing education to teenagers and young people about what the effects of using drug and alcohol could be. FRANK has run lots of media campaigns on radio and the internet.
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FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs
- A website
- A 24 hour telephone line that is strictly confidential
- An anonymous live chat every afternoon 2-6pm
- A service to locate counselling and treatment