South Dakota’s governor defended an anti-methamphetamine campaign unveiled Monday that was widely mocked online.
"Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness," Gov. Kristi Noem said Monday afternoon. "So I think that’s working…"
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The campaign — "Meth. We're on it." — was launched by the state Department of Social Services and features a new website (onmeth.com), billboards and advertisements with people saying, "Meth, I’m on it."
"We didn’t want this to look like every other anti-drug campaign,” Laurie Gill, secretary for the Department of Social Services, said.
The effort has so far cost nearly $500,000, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper — or roughly one-third of the $1.4 million the state said it would pay to the Minnesota-based advertising agency behind the campaign.
The reaction was swift and often harsh.
One observer noted that the firm behind the campaign likely knew exactly what it was up to.
“If their slogan had been of the ‘Don’t do meth; it’s bad for you’ ilk no one would be aware of SD’s anti-meth campaign today,” the person tweeted.
“Exactly!” the governor responded.