Drug Czar Says $25 Mil in Ads Targeting Blacks

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- In a response to charges of a bias against minority media, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it actually has heavied up on anti-drug ad messages directed to African-Americans.

"African-Americans now receive the highest exposure rate to anti-drug messages of any audience targeted by the media campaign," said Director Barry McCaffrey in a letter to members of the Congressional Black Caucus. "With paid and 'match' messages, 95% of African-American teens see an average of eight messages a week -- one message more than seen by the general market."

Even though usage lower
Mr. McCaffrey, who also noted that the rate of drug use among African-American youth is lower than the rest of the population, said his agency is the largest government advertiser in African-American newspapers; one of the top 10 advertisers on Black Entertainment Television; and that its ads targeting African-Americans appear on outdoor boards, transit signs, in movie theaters and on an African-American-oriented Web site.

The caucus had questioned why the drug office was spending $10.9 million on Hispanic ads but only $3.2 million on African-American media, $2.2 million on Asian-American media and $347,000 in Native American media.

Figure cited just black-owned
Mr. McCaffrey said the $3.2 million represents its spending on black-owned media only, and that the total amount spent on media aimed at African-Americans was nearly $25 million, more than twice the amount reaching Hispanics.

"Our goal is to reach vast numbers of African-American and Spanish-speaking teen and parent audiences," he said. "This can only be achieved by using media outlets and programming that reach and are sensitive to those audiences in both

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