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The “Stoner Sloth” advertising campaign cost the New South Wales government $350,000

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The “Stoner Sloth” advertising campaign cost the New South Wales government $350,000 and took 265 public servant work hours to pull together, according to details released under freedom of information laws.

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/18/it-is-baffling-stoner-sloth-anti-drug-ads-true-cost-to-taxpayers-revealed

The advertising campaign, which cast large, Chewbacca-like sloth characters in the roles of stoned teenagers to show the dulling effects of marijuana, was launched in December. It was widely derided for both message and execution, and was even described by the NSW premier, Mike Baird – whose Department of Premier and Cabinet managed the campaign – as “quite something”.

The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) distanced itself from the campaign, saying “the current stoner sloth campaign doesn’t reflect NCPIC views on how cannabis harms campaigns should be approached”.

According to detailed costings of the project, obtained by the NSW Greens member of the upper house Dr Mehreen Faruqi under Government Information (Public Access) laws, the total cost for the campaign was $351,790, of which $36,386 was paid to the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi.

The advertising firm previously defended the campaign, saying: “The videos we created were designed as part of a preventative campaign specifically for teens; the audience is not for adults or long-term cannabis users.”

It is understood the $500,000 figure originally attached to the campaign includes time spent by public servants, which was equivalent to 38 days, or almost two months, of full-time work.

The spend included $115,000 spent on research and evaluation, divided between a literature review by the Sax Institute and the University of New South Wales on the effectiveness of cannabis education programs ($28,000), research by the University of Technology Sydney ($23,000) and market research ($64,000).

(In a statement to Guardian Australia, a NSW government clarified that the literature review was undertaken by NCPIC as part of UNSW.)

A further $136,700 was spent on production, including $59,814 for production company 8Com Australia and $23,000 on actors, while the remaining $99,990 went to the media agency Universal McCann.

Farqui said the costs attached to the campaign made it even more inexplicable.

“It is baffling and frankly quite depressing that the NSW government wasted this much public money and hundreds of hours of public service time on such a poorly conceived idea,” she told Guardian Australia.

“Looking at the $60,000 plus spent on market research alone, you’d think they would have had a better idea about what actually might have connected with people.

“Instead, the Baird government became the laughing stock of the world as the now infamous sloth made international headlines for all the wrong reasons.”

High on the list of criticisms was the unfortunate similarity between the URLs of stonersloth.com.au, a Tumblr-based teen-oriented website linked to the campaign, and stonersloth.com, a Colorado-based “cannabis solutions” website.

The operator of the latter shared the Stoner Sloth ads on his website, along with a list of reasons why it was not effective.

Despite the campaign driving “a good deal of traffic” to his website, the operator, who gave his name as Daniel, was critical of the Stoner Sloth idea and told Guardian Australia that it was an “outdated dramatisation” that used ineffectual scare tactics.

“Like many people who smoke, I have had sloth moments,” he said. “You can, as it is said, ‘overmedicate’ and feel couch-locked, not wanting to do anything – but I know people who get that without smoking too.”

Faruqi said the campaign was “doomed to fail” because the NSW government “refused to take an adult approach to drugs or drug use that didn’t infantilise people or talk down to them”.

“We are in dire need of an informed and evidence-based drugs debate in this country,” she said.

New South Wales is one of three states that has pledged to hold trials on the use of medical cannabis for pain relief.

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marijuana for pain relief? LOL yeah right. thats as stupid as the idea it makes you a "sloth". dulling effects??? yeah right! LOL idiotic rubbish indeed. why does this country speak so so much bullshit?? what idiot is it trying to impress? and why?

does this country contain ANY intelligent people? at all?

wow...

they seem to have mixed up alcohol with marijuana. AGAIN... stupid only.

Edited by ghosty

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people should be far more concerned about synthetic pot. The other day, i bummed a smoke of a guy in the street. he looked at me in a way i found odd and handed me his "tobacco pouch" i rolled one, thanked him and left. getting home i lit it up, took a few puffs and found i was "stoned". thats right. the whole thing had been laced with some synthetic compounds. To say i was pissed off that some person had not told me what was in it sickens me. to not know what harm it has done scares me. for good reason. later that night i was very sick, all night long. thanks guy!

great times indeed. dumbass laws, lies etc. have created a real problem here. so yeah, thanks to the dumbest collective in the land harrassing good folks over pot, to justify their delusions about people they try to stress to death with their never ending nonsense. look what you have created now. idiots. they know who they are.

now we have folks wandering about with dangerous shit whilst those that have respect and keep things safe and natural get fines and called a criminal. how can the dumbest of the dumb tell if a persons tobacco is just that, or some dangerous shit like i got. i couldnt tell till i smoked it. but please, keep speaking shit about marijuana and make this a HUGE problem, just as you have done so far... go eat some more clown shit morons. qp#dumbshit.

Edited by ghosty

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Really ghosty did that happen? Like did that really happen? Out of all the people unfortunate enough to "bum" a ciggie laced with synthetic, it was you? The guy who rants about this stuff all the time? JUST so happened to happen? BS.

And lols you bum ciggies

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are you calling me a lier?

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I don't lie, i don't cheat and i don't steal, also i'm not lazy. this i follow if it kills me. at all times.

um, yes i know ciggys are toxic. they are also good for medicinal purposes and blessings.

yes there are a few plants that can remove SOME of the toxins, but being a plant forum, i know you'd know that too :wink: hence, fellow plant enthusiast, there is no need for me to tell you.

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at least the "stoner sloth" idea gave birth to some far more accurate parodys "your better on pot". so.. not a total waste of money.

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please "dood", don't drag this topic down to your level..

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A hit of truth-

Edited by ghosty
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patronizing, belittling and narcissistic. to say the least. enough from you please.

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Regarding Ghostly's claims - Anyone who claims they don't lie is deluding themselves.... Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be "intentionally deceive". We all lie constantly, to others and ourselves in small ways, we just are often not aware of it. There's nothing wrong with this, it's perfectly natural. If one were to get philosophical on this, perhaps the entire 'self', the ego, is a lie that is adopted to experience this physical existence.

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"Anyone who claims they don't lie is deluding themselves" is that right smart ass. really. you don't know me for shit do you. trying to justify YOUR lying ways by speaking shit like that. not aware of it? LOL you are delusional.

I know most people lie. in my 41+ years i have met only one person who is 100% honest like me, so, you can take your stupid clinical remarks and stuff them.. somewhere.

"ghostly is not my tag, as you know. any other little hidden nasty's you'd like to add or your happy enough with yourself for that?

Edited by ghosty

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The amount of unnecessary shit fights is making this a shit site.

I can't fathom how a bunch of hippies on a message board can be so angsty.

I'm also wondering if shit fight should be a whole word, hyphenated or two separate words.

Can someone clarify?

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hyphenated

Yeah i know right. must my views be the same as others to be able to express my views on a topic?

must i be called a lier (offensive to me) because others cant live like me, nor know me at all?

are my views to out there? to educated for most here so they feel they must drag me down to their level?

are forums not for the exchange of ideas / views and the evolution of such?

can there be no individuality here?

etc etc etc.

this place has gone to shit over the last 10 months. to such a degree, I'm seriously wondering if i should leave in search of much much better.

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"Anyone who claims they don't lie is deluding themselves" is that right smart ass. really. you don't know me for shit do you. trying to justify YOUR lying ways by speaking shit like that. not aware of it? LOL you are delusional.

I know most people lie. in my 41+ years i have met only one person who is 100% honest like me, so, you can take your stupid clinical remarks and stuff them.. somewhere.

"ghostly is not my tag, as you know. any other little hidden nasty's you'd like to add or your happy enough with yourself for that?

Ok I apologize. I don't know what you mean by 'clinical remarks' but I understand that I've caused offence. This was not my intention, perhaps it was my clumsy wording. I was trying to articulate that intention is far more important than truth and lies, for truth is often subjective. Arguments over what is 'true' are pointless, for nothing is merely black and white. A lack of tolerance for the views and experiences of others is what drives conflict in this world.

Additionally, I realise now that I misread your tag. I now know its 'ghosty'. Again, i apologize for causing offence, it was an honest mistake, without any 'hidden nasty'. I'll remove myself from this thread now.

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....

this place has gone to shit over the last 10 months. to such a degree, I'm seriously wondering if i should leave in search of much much better.

B)

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Shit-fight, as in the shit is a part of the fight. :huh:

I have found that the 'Manage Ignore Prefs' option in your profile has been invaluable in increasing my enjoyment when visiting the forums. Otherwise it can get a tad bit frustrating at times. :unsure:

Ignore whoever gives you the shits and you will no longer have them... in theory :wink:

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what the fuck is wrong with you people?

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A good, if slightly off topic, question stu.

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^ Off topic perhaps, but way too broad in its criticism IMHO.

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I have general anxiety. I can be a bit snobbish which makes little sense being poor. I drink too much. I interview poorly and can't study consistently. My right knee is painful on account of a torn meniscus.

I'm sure there is plenty more wrong with me but that'll do for now.

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