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Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Directs New Meth Project Advertising Campaign
Date:4/1/2008

Groundbreaking project credited with dramatic reduction in Meth use

PALTO ALTO, Calif., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- The Meth Project today unveiled its new advertising campaign, including a series of television ads directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Oscar-nominated director and producer whose works include "Babel," "21 Grams," and "Amores Perros." The ads, which launched today in Montana, are designed to communicate the consequences of Meth use on individuals, their friends, and families. Since the Meth Project's launch in Montana in 2005, the state has seen a dramatic shift in Meth behaviors and attitudes. The Montana Attorney General's office reported this week that teen Meth use is down nearly 45% since 2005, Meth-related crime has dropped by 62% in the same period, and the number of employees testing positive for Meth fell 72%.

"The Meth Project campaign has effected a dramatic reduction in Meth abuse in the last two years," said Meth Project founder Tom Siebel. "If we are able to continue to see these kinds of results, this will have been an exceptionally effective prevention effort."

The 30-second television ads offer a look into the dark world of teen Meth addiction. Built around the theme, "This isn't normal, but on Meth it is," the ads present graphic and often uncomfortable views of how Meth can drive users to abhorrent and even violent behavior.

In one ad, two teenage girls sell themselves to a group of young men for money to buy Meth. Another focuses on addicts breaking into a house to support their Meth habit, and the last features a teen suffering from an overdose, lying at the feet of friends who are smoking Meth. In addition to the three television ads directed by Mr. Inarritu, four print ads and nine radio ads will reach at least 80% of Montana teens three times each week.

The new advertising campaign is the fourth in an award-winning series launched by the Meth Project. To assure maximum impact, each campaign is research-based and is carefully tested with the Project's target audience, teens. The ads can be viewed at http://www.methproject.org/ads , and will be aired in other states, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, and Wyoming at a later date.

Previous Meth Project campaigns have received 40 advertising industry awards including two Gold Effie Awards, seven Gold Addy Awards, 18 Silver Addy Awards, the Cannes Lion Award, and seven AdCritic.com "Top Ten" Awards for the best ads in the United States. Additionally, the Meth Project was a finalist in 2007 for the Grand Effie Award, which goes to the year's most effective campaign.

The Meth Project was created to address what the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board and the National Association of Counties consider the number one drug problem in American -- methamphetamine. The Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program operating in Montana, Illinois, Idaho, Arizona, and Wyoming that is aimed at reducing first-time Meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Central to the program is a research-based marketing campaign that graphically communicates the risks of Meth use.

Concurrent with the launch of its latest advertising campaign, the Meth Project also announced the results of its 2008 Montana Meth Use and Attitudes Survey. The results show the Project's efforts have made powerful inroads in reaching teens. A majority of teens (84%) now voice strong disapproval of trying Meth even once or twice, and few teens surveyed now believe that using Meth offers any benefit.

The survey also notes that a vast majority of teens (85%) now say their friends would give them a hard time if they ever tried Meth -- a 7% increase over last year's survey. Further, parent-child discussions about Meth are more frequent; a majority of teens report they have discussed Meth with their parents in the past year (65%, up 11% since 2005).

Also released this week was Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath's report, Methamphetamine in Montana: A Follow-Up Report on Trends and Progress. The report notes that lifetime Meth use by teens in Montana has dropped nearly 45% since 2005. This decline is greater than any other observed across all risk categories measured by the 2007 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Additionally, Meth-related crime has dropped by 62% from 2005-2007 based upon state crime lab data, and the number of employees testing positive for Meth fell 72% in the same period.

About Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the 2006 hit, "Babel," which included Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and Adriana Barrazza, who won an Academy Award for her performance in the film. His first feature, "Amores Perros," was released in 2000, and was a major hit at the Cannes Film Festival that year. The film also earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign movie. His second feature, "21 Grams," released in 2003, starred Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, and Naomi Watts. All received Academy Award nominations for their participation.

About the Meth Project:

The Meth Project is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California, aimed at significantly reducing first-time Meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. The Montana Meth Project, Arizona Meth Project, Idaho Meth Project, Illinois Meth Project, and Wyoming Meth Project and other state affiliates implement the Meth Project prevention programs in their respective states. The Meth Project is funded by a grant from the Siebel Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.methproject.com.

Media Contacts: Kirsten Clausen

GolinHarris

213-438-8726

kclausen@golinharris.com


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SOURCE The Meth Project
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