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The government, unveiling its first tentative plan for spending $150 million a year on anti-drug ads, is suggesting national ads to reach adults and a split of national and local media to reach children.

The "National Media Plan Recommendation" unveiled last week will direct the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's first ad buys in July, and serve as the agency's plan until a permanent media planning and buying agency is hired this fall.

The hiring moved forward last week as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services sent out its final request for proposals to agencies.


The media plan, drawn up in part by Bates USA and Zenith Media, both New York, offers an indication of the potential big winners from the anti-drug spending.

Half the $150 million would target adults with the other half aimed at various groups of children: 25% to children ages 11 to 13, and the rest split equally between kids 9 and 10 years old and those 14 to 18 years old.

The overall plan calls for national ads to be placed on big-event, sports, family and youth programming -- and on programming with anti-drug messages.

The media plan suggests the government spend 64% of all its money on TV and skew the national portion of the TV buys toward several TV networks. For prime-time TV, Fox and ABC could be the big beneficiaries.

"ABC/Fox skew [is] recommended due to younger skewing programming," said the plan, though it added that NBC's Saturday lineup could reach the teen market.

For TV in other dayparts, the plan recommends Fox Kids Network programming for afternoon and morning; sports at any time to reach both adults and kids looking for role models; and morning news shows to reach adults.

Radio would get 8% of the buy, with the bulk of that heading to local stations. Magazines would be 10% of the buy, with national print going to a variety of publications in categories ranging from Sunday magazines to ethnic, music, women's service and kids' magazines.


The plan recommends newspapers get 1% of the spending, though drug-office officials said that number appears likely to be raised due to the success of the newspaper advertising in the current 12-city test of the campaign.

Out-of-home media would get 4% and online advertising 2%. In-school media would get 9% of the buy and cinema advertising 2%.

Video arcades are also recommended as an ad venue.

The drug office wants a free ad for every ad it pays for, and is looking for extensive local support and publicity by media to back anti-drug programs, including the running of phone numbers of local support groups.

The drug office hopes to run major local-community promotions each quarter with more regular ads in between.

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