Pdfa Case Study

1652 Words7 Pages
This case was written by Professors Michael A. Belch and George E. Belch to analyze the marketing strategies used by the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). They also discussed their progress over time, and the challenges they faced on their journey to fight the “War on Drugs” through media advertisement. The PDFA was officially launched in 1987, and is a private, non-profit organization consisting of professionals from the communications industry. Their mission was to reduce drug demand in America, and they believed that helping adolescents understand the dangers and consequences of drug use, and ways to resist the pressure of using would achieve that goal. As the PDFA started…show more content…
The most important change implemented by the ONDCP was their increased focus on the needs of their target audience through market segmentation. They recognized that drugs differ in classes, consequences, and have different perceived risks associated with them. Therefore the ONDCP proposed that ads be developed with the awareness that adolescents hold different beliefs about various drugs and the social consequences associated with abusing them. It was recommended that the new messages be designed to target specific age groups, ethnic audiences, and individuals of different socio-economic status and geographic location. The most effective segmentation would have been age specific since adolescents and adults may perceive drug use differently, and have different reasons for their drug use i.e. adolescents may abuse drugs due to peer pressure where as adults may abuse drugs due to stress. Moreover, adults and adolescents have different priorities, therefore an age specific market segmentation would address those issues ergo increasing the effectiveness of the…show more content…
In my opinion, neither the government or the PDFA should be involved in producing anti-drug advertisement since they are not knowledgeable in what drives drug abuse, what maintains it, or how to properly target it in order to prevent it. The PDFA did not have subject matter experts in the organization, and were creating advertisement to address a sensitive topic with no scientific backing. In fact, when the ONDCP developed a behavioral-change expert panel consisting of multiple psychologists, sociologists, and advertisement experts the PDFA were not happy with the development and thought it would slow down their creative process when the introduction of such a panel should have been encouraged especially if their motives were to in fact to reduce drug use instead of receiving funds. Both the government and PDFA started putting more focus on proving the effectiveness of the ads to draw in more funds which took away from their original mission of fighting drug use, and benefiting the public. For an organization to produce such ads, they must be scientifically knowledgeable of the issue, and should be able to effectively evaluate the campaign, two matters which both the ONDCP and the PDFA failed to do. They used tax dollars to produce ads which were not benefitting the public, and used this as a way to endorse a political agenda which did not benefit the public
Open Document