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Advertising Council Tackles Overdose Crisis With New Coordinated National Public Awareness Efforts

The nonprofit brings together Google, Meta, and Snap, along with leading public health organizations to tackle youth fentanyl awareness and substance use disorders in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. nationwide overdose

NEW YORK, May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Drug overdose deaths reached nearly 108,000 in 2021, the highest number on record in a 12-month period and a staggering 52% increase over the previous two years. This increase in overdose-related deaths is fueled by the prevalence of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, which have been implicated in approximately 66% of overdose deaths during this period.1 To address this issue, the Ad Council today announced a holistic approach to the overdose crisis, comprising two separate initiatives: one with leading technology companies Google, Meta and Snap and the other with healthcare organizations. response to the current overdose epidemic. United States which will be underway later this year. Efforts will be made beginning in the summer of 2022 to educate young Americans and their parents and caregivers about the dangers and prevalence of fentanyl in counterfeit pills and illicit drugs, and, separately, to help people with related disorders. substance use navigate resources and begin their recovery journey.

“There’s so much people don’t know about the substances they use, including fentanyl, and their potentially catastrophic effects,” he said. Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Through these new campaigns, the Ad Council is tackling one of the biggest issues facing our nation to directly reach those in need.”

More than 190 people die every day from overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. While 79% of teens say stress and anxiety are common reasons for prescription drug abuse, 73% say they haven’t heard of the risk of fentanyl being added to counterfeit pills.2

One of the initiatives as part of the Ad Council’s broader approach to addressing this crisis is partnered with and funded by leading technology companies Google, Meta and Snap. These platforms and other services, including TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, Reddit and Vice Media, will play a vital role in donating media space and developing and distributing content designed for teens and young adults to educate about fentanyl and its dangers. . Especially as young adults aged 16 to 24 spend more than three hours a day on social media, this coalition of partners, in addition to trusted voices in the form of digital content creators and influencers, will be integral to the success of the initiative, ensuring the messages resonate with young adults and reach them at the docks where they spend much of their time.

“This campaign is a testament to the collaborative work being done across the industry to use our platforms to do our part,” said Brennan Mullin VP, Devices & Services Partnerships, Americas at Google. “At a time when it couldn’t be more needed, we’re proud to partner with the Ad Council to fight the opioid epidemic and raise awareness about this important topic.”

“We commend the efforts of the Advertising Council to help address the fentanyl crisis comprehensively and are proud to partner with them in this campaign,” said lindsay elinVice President of External Affairs, Meta Platforms, Inc. “Raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl requires working across our industry, so we’re grateful for the chance to do our part.”

“As the opioid epidemic has grown during the pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to eradicate drug traffickers from Snapchat, while working closely with parents, expert organizations and law enforcement. order to better understand how we can combat this national crisis.It became clear that an industry-wide approach was needed to help educate young people and families about the deadly risks associated with counterfeit pills containing fentanyl,” said Jennifer StoutVice President of Global Public Policy at Snap, Inc. “We are grateful to be collaborating with the Ad Council, Google, Meta and other partners on this unprecedented public awareness campaign to help Americans recognize the dangers of fentanyl and how to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Understanding that some communities of color are experiencing a steep rise in drug overdoses, the Ad Council is committed to helping reach Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) who are currently experiencing increased levels of drug-related disorders. to drug use. As the overdose crisis continues, its reach extends to all kinds of American communities, rural, suburban and urban. Similar to other public health threats such as COVID-19, drug overdose also has a disproportionate impact on BIPOC communities. While the highest absolute numbers of overdose deaths occurred among non-Hispanic white Americans, in 2020, overall rates of drug overdose deaths were highest among non-Hispanic/Native American Indians. Alaska (41.9 per 100,000), followed by non-Hispanic black (35.4 per 100,000), non-Hispanic white (32.8 per 100,000), Hispanic (17.6), and non-Hispanic populations Asian/Other Pacific Islanders (5.5). From 2015 to 2020, drug overdose death rates increased dramatically among the non-Hispanic (190%) and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (98%) Black American populations compared to drug overdose death rates. overdose among non-Hispanic whites (55%) .1 Additionally, some communities of color have reduced access to quality health care, and in some areas also have reduced access to life-saving drugs like naloxone (eg, Narcan, Evzio). (PMID: 28160887; PMID: 34058540).

Future work will help people who experience drug use disorders navigate recovery resources and access treatment options.

Launched in the summer of 2022, the initiative designed to reach teens and young adults in partnership with Google, Meta and Snap is developed pro bono by partner creative agency, JOAN. Over the coming year, Meta’s Creative Shop will build on the fentanyl awareness effort with a campaign focused on educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of fentanyl. The subsequent effort involving public health organizations, aimed at adults facing substance use disorders, is currently in the research phase. Both initiatives will include a suite of PSAs in addition to platform-specific activations and robust core game components such as faith-based programs, trusted messaging strategies, employer engagement and open source toolkits. These components are designed to also equip other organizations and nonprofits, allowing them to leverage Ad Council research and content to bring important messages to their communities.

The advertising board
The Ad Council has a long history of creating vital public service communications in times of national crisis, from the organization’s earliest days during World War II through September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its close relationships with the media, the creative community, subject matter experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely positioned to quickly deliver lifesaving information to millions of Americans.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The nonprofit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to tackle many of the most important causes in the country. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. smoked bear. Love has no labels.

Ad Council’s innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.orgfollow the Ad Council communities on Facebook and Twitterand display the creation on Youtube.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Provisional number of drug overdose deaths – United States. Available at:
2 According to a Morning Consult study commissioned by Snap Inc. in July 2021. Available at:

SOURCE The Advertising Council