White House uses YouTube to tackle drug abuse

The US Government has posted its anti-drugs ads on YouTube in one of the first examples of public service announcements following its target audience online. YouTube users have so far been more likely to find homemade videos about how to grow marijuana, but now they may also come across nine ads produced by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy. Its somewhat official YouTube page introduces the ONDCP as an organisation that "supports a balanced strategy for reducing the harm that drugs cause to America". It also includes three clips from a speech by White House drug policy adviser John Walters. The page carries statistics on users' interest, showing that it has only attracted 21,668 viewers over two weeks while the spots are typically rated with one or two stars out of five. ONDCP spokesman Raphael Lemaitre told BBC News: "Essentially, this is an effort that has cost us zero dollars and has already reached thousands of Americans." No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.

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