03 June 2009

Just say yes

Today I was stopped in my tracks by a bus side-panel ad in Camden:

The simple, startling message points to a website for Release, an organisation that campaigns for changes to UK drug policy. It is part of what I hope marks the start of a challenge to the hegemony of the madness that is the War On Drugs and the misery that is its consequence.

As a piece of creative, it is stunning - the simplicity of the execution is perfect because the message, in just four words, is powerful. Its implications resonate long after the meaning of the sentence has registered in the brain, because it is at odds with twenty years of contrary messaging from well-meaning but myopic War On Drugs warriors.

Or as advertising legend Bill Bernbach once said, "the most powerful element in advertising is the truth."

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