- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

South Dakota’s new anti-meth slogan — “Meth. We’re on it.” — has captured attention this week, and according to the governor, that was the idea.

“Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness,” Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted. “So I think that’s working … #thanks #MethWeAreOnIt.”

The new ad campaign to combat meth usage was released Monday with the expectation of a social media blowback over its slogan. Many online criticized it for being tone-deaf, a failed attempt at wordplay, or officials were just unaware of the phrasing’s implication.


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Ms. Noem “wanted to do it in a way that got the attention of the citizens,” said Laurie Gill, the state’s secretary for the Department of Social Services to The New York Times.

“We are looking for a way that would cause the citizens to stop, pay attention and understand that we do have a meth issue and that there are resources available,” she said. “That was the tone going into it, looking for something that would be edgy and that would be able to cut through clutter in advertising and social media.”



Ms. Gill said meth usage in South Dakota is becoming an epidemic, saying the amount of 12- to 17-year-olds in the state who have tried meth being nearly double the 2018 national average.

A contract in state records show the campaign was signed off in September, and $1.4 million will be spent until May to promote the cause through TV advertising and merchandise. Ms. Gill said the slogan is already raising awareness.

“I would say that we did expect a reaction,” she said. “It’s a play on words. It’s sort of an irony between healthy South Dakotans, that probably very much aren’t meth users, saying ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ The point is everybody is affected by meth. You don’t have to be a user to be affected by meth. Everybody is.”

 

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