Like many I’m sure, I watched the tributes to 9/11 last night. Behind the scenes a furore is bubbling regarding ABC’s movie. According to the Holmes Report: “American Airlines offers a blistering response to Disney’s fabrication “The Path to 9-11” with a statement calling it “inaccurate and irresponsible” and Editor & Publisher’s coverage suggests that the airline might be considering legal action.” It’s stunning to me that any broadcaster could treat such a sensitive issue with this degree of insensitivity and lack or respect.
Meanwhile, apparently the Government’s drug campaign worked in reverse. According to independent reports, “Instead of reducing the likelihood that kids would smoke marijuana, the ads increased it. Westat found that “greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana.” More exposure to the ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use among certain groups, like 14- to 16-year-olds and white kids.” To assess the spend purely as an attempt to discourage drug use is to misunderstand the deeper motive in many Government advertising initiatives. Paul says it well:
“They are not designed to discourage kids from smoking pot; they’re designed to make sure kids know that smoking pot is WRONG. So the government sat on the results of the study for 18 months—spending another $220 million on ads it knew were not effective—not because it likes wasting money, but because the money wasn’t wasted. Its supporters, particularly those who believe pot smoking is immoral, want the government to lecture people about the immorality of smoking pot.”