INDEPENDENT NEWS

It’s true, jail does suck

Published: Wed 7 Dec 2005 10:19 AM
It’s true, jail does suck
The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) today defended a billboard advertising campaign by one of its members which highlights the downsides of ending up in prison for use of illegal drugs.
Manufacturer of legal party pills, a-class.co.nz, has been running a number of billboards promoting their products as safer alternatives to illegal drugs – particularly in that people cannot be imprisoned for using them.
A prisoner support group and Rape Crisis have publicly complained about the ads.
STANZ Chairman Matt Bowden rejected the criticism of the campaign, and noted that no formal complaints have been received.
“We need to get real – the biggest harm associated with using some illegal drugs is the risk of getting caught and going to jail. What this campaign is saying is that if people choose safer legal alternatives then they can remove this very real risk,” he said.
Mr Bowden said the suggestion that the ads could open psychological wounds was inconsistent with other publicly accepted advertising campaigns.
"It’s just silly to claim that advertisements like these are unacceptable when groups such as the LTSA can run horror style advertisements in prime time to influence driver behaviour.
“The ads will not be noticed by young children, which is more than can be said for many much more disturbing and graphic ads.”
Mr Bowden said if people had issues with the ads then they should formally complain.
“These ads actually hit the nail on the head. Prison is an extremely unpleasant experience and all these ads are doing is encouraging people not to commit crimes.
“What is the problem with that?”
Mr Bowden said more than 20 million legal party pills have been sold in New Zealand.
“Each time that somebody chooses to use a safer legal party pill is a time when they do not use dangerous illegal drugs and risk becoming addicted, poisoned or ending up in jail.”
To view the ads visit www.a-class.co.nz/

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