Research finds ice advertising campaign is working

ice (crystal methamphetamine) spills from a bottle

Independent research into the results of the Coalition Government’s ice advertising has praised the campaign.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the second instalment of the ads onto TV and social media last night, Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said the Stancombe research into the effect of the ads, commissioned by the Department of Health, spoke for itself.

Some 3805 people were surveyed about the ads: 2126 young people aged 14-25 and 1679 parents of young people aged 14-25.

“94% of youth who saw the campaign said they’d taken some ‘action’ as a result – either by talking to peers or their parents, or by changing their thinking about ice,” Minister Nash said.

“51% of at-risk youth who had seen the ads said they would now avoid using ice – a fantastic result.

“Furthermore, the report states, ‘Parents who recognised the campaign were significantly more likely to have talked to their children about drugs’ (67% compared to 52% among those who did not see the ads) and that ‘This indicates that the campaign acted as a trigger for these conversations’,” Minister Nash said.

“Even better, 61% of youth said discussions with parents were a ‘big influence’ on their thinking about drugs, and 49% of youth said anti-drug advertising was also a ‘big influence’.

“Some 84% of youth and 91% of parents said the ads were ‘Believable’; 87 and 91% respectively said the ads were effective at explaining how ice can harm 66 and 73% said the ads made them ‘stop and think’ and 64 and 68% said the ads taught them something new.

“Recognition of the advertising among youth considered to be ‘at-risk’ of accepting drug offers was a whopping 80%.”

Some 53% of youth and 56% of parents recalled seeing advertising about illegal drugs this year – the highest result ever from National Drug Campaign research.

Also, 80% of youth and 85% of parents recalled that the advertising referred specifically to ice. The report states the evidence indicates a “very strong ‘cut-through’” from this advertising campaign and that the “messages around this specific drug are cutting through”.

On social media, 10 Facebook posts have reached nearly 13 million people; 15 tweets were seen by 2.73 million people and nine YouTube videos were seen by 4.25 million people.

“I’m so pleased the Coalition Government’s advertising campaign on ice has been so successful,” Minister Nash said.

I’m particularly pleased that it cut through to at-risk youth and is changing their attitudes to ice, reducing the chances of them ever starting to use this drug.

“I’ve always said this problem needed to be attacked from all angles – prevention, treatment and policing – and this independent research confirms this part of the Coalition’s prevention strategy is effective.

“Advertising alone will not fix the ice issue, but it’s an important plank in the platform.”

The second instalment of ads represents a $4.3 million investment.

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