Why this 'tone deaf' anti-meth campaign has sparked debate

The US state of South Dakota is struggling with a growing meth problem, so they have launched an attention grabbing campaign that is making meth “everyone’s problem” but some people think they have missed the mark.

The campaign which reportedly cost the state’s Department of Social Services nearly half a million US dollars, was described by Governor Kristi Noem as the “largest and most aggressive meth campaign that our state has seen or done before.” 

The campaign includes a commercial, billboards, posters and a website with the slogan ‘Meth. We’re on it.”

The slogan is written across an outline of the state and in a 30 second Youtube video, citizens of the state look to the camera and declare “I’m on meth”.

The slogan is written across an outline of the state and in a 30 second Youtube video, citizens of the state look to the camera and declare “I’m on meth”. Source: onmeth.com

However, many people responded to the campaign by mercilessly mocking it online.

“What's it like to be completely tone deaf and piss away state funds on just the absolutely most ill conceived ad campaign in modern history,” one person wrote on Youtube.

“Is this a satire? What is going on here?” another asked.

“This makes it sound like people of all ages including children are on meth. Great way to portray South Dakota,” one person commented.

Governor Noem isn’t apologising for the extreme messaging and in a previous PSA video on her Facebook account she said that the number of ninth graders in her state who have tried the drug is double the national average.

Despite the attention grabbing slogan, Governor Noem, tweeted that the campaign was successful.

“We’re starting the conversation - It. Is. Working,” she tweeted on Monday (local time).

Not everyone is convinced though, with a Twitter user responding “New Governor. We’re on it.”

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