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Talk To Frank

What Is Talk To Frank?

In the UK, Talk to Frank has been operating the anti-drugs campaign for a long time on its own. Has it managed to get people to quit substance abuse?

A police Swat team in the UK burst into a kitchen of a quiet suburban home, and the results were a complete turnaround of the way drug education was done for good. Grim warnings about how drugs could mess you up and genuine pleas to resist the pushers that were creeping around every playground were gone. In came the quirky funny side and a light-hearted attitude.


The first advert presented an adolescent inviting the police to come and arrest his mum because the mum wanted them to talk about drugs. The message delivered by the advert had not been heard before either: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."


Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice

Thought up by promotion organization Mother, Frank was, indeed, the new name for the National Drugs Helpline. It was intended to be a put stock in "elder brother" assumes that youngsters could swing to for advice concerning illegal substances. To become a familiar brand with youth in the UK, the Frank label has presented everything from the adventures of pablo the drug mule to a tour of a brain warehouse.


Significantly, Frank was never found in the flesh, so would never be the objective of joke for wearing the wrong trainers or attempting to be "down with the children," says Justin Tindall, inventive director of ad organization Leo Burnett. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. There's also no indication that Frank is working for the government, which is unusual for a government funded campaign.

Education about drug has come a long way since Nancy Reagan and the UK cast of Grange Hill told kids to "Just Say No," which a lot of people not believe was completely counterproductive.


Frank has set the standard, and now most adverts in Europe are using the same format to equip the youth with unbiased facts to help in making their choices. In nations with solid punishments for ownership, pictures of jail bars and disgraced guardians are still typical. You play, you pay. is the ad used to warn young people going for night clubbing in Singapore.

In the UK, the government has burned through millions on Above the Influence, a long-running movement that urges positive contrasting options to drug usage utilizing a blend of amusement and useful examples. The accentuation is on conversing with youngsters in their own particular dialect - one promotion demonstrates a group of "stoners" marooned on a couch. Around the world, a good number of anti-drug campaigns still use the scare tricks of old, "descent into hell," being one of the most used. One typical example was a part of the Canadian DrugsNot4Me program showed an attractive, confident young woman then into a wasting, hollow eyes shadow at the hand of drugs.

A study carried out in the UK on anti-drugs campaign that ran between 1999 and 2004 shows that adverts that portray the negative results of drug use influence vulnerable youth to try out with the drugs.


Frank was ground-breaking and criticised by Conservative politicians at the time because they felt it suggest that there were some good things to go along with all the bad about drugs.


One primary online promotion educated viewers: "Cocaine makes you feel high and in charge."

Hitting the middle road with an ad to give the right message always proved to be a challenge. The man in arrears the cocaine advertisement, Matt Powell, then creative director of digital agency Profero, now disbelieves he overvalued the focus span of the ordinary web browser. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. However, the goal of the ad was to be upfront with young people about the effects of drugs so that Frank could establish some accountability.

According to the Home Office, up to 67% of teenagers preferred to talk to Frank if drug advice becomes necessary. A total of 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and a total of 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. These figures provide proof that the Frank approach bears results.

Though, like with any other anti-drug media campaign around the globe, there's no proof that Frank has stopped people to use substances.

Drug usage in the UK has gone around 9% in the decade since the conflict propelled, yet specialists say quite a bit of this is down to a decrease in cannabis utilization, potentially connected to changing states of mind towards smoking tobacco among youngsters.


What Is Frank?

FRANK was launched in 2003 as a collaborated effort of the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government as a national drug education service. It's supposed to reduce the use of illegal and legal substances by teaching teens about the possible effects of alcohol and drugs. FRANK has run lots of media campaigns on radio and the internet.


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Services

FRANK has the following resources for anyone looking for information about drugs:

  • A website
  • A 24 hour telephone line that is strictly confidential
  • Email
  • A confidential live chat service, available from 2pm-6pm daily
  • A service to help find appropriate counselling or treatment