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The Partnership Today

A pioneer in the field of consumer social marketing, The Partnership is perhaps best known for its national advertising campaign. The Partnership's more than 15 years of experience and its national model have become the foundation on which similar and larger issue-oriented media campaigns have been built.

The Partnership is comprised of a small staff and hundreds of volunteers from the communications industry who create and disseminate the organization's advertising. Advertising agencies create Partnership messages pro bono; talent unions permit their members to work for free; production professionals bring Partnership messages to life; a network of advertising professionals distribute the group's work to national and local media; public relations firms lend services to various Partnership projects; and media companies donate valuable broadcast time and print space to deliver Partnership messages to millions of Americans.

The organization began in 1986 with seed money provided by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Today, The Partnership receives major funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and support from more than 200 corporations and companies. The Partnership accepts no funding from manufacturers of alcohol and/or tobacco products. The Partnership's first ad appeared in March 1987; the campaign is now the largest, most honored public service media campaign in advertising history.

The Partnership is now participating in an unprecedented public/private marketing effort - the largest ever undertaken in the United States - that is redefining public service advertising. Backed by an average annual appropriation of about $190 million(1) and with bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has become the centerpiece of the country's efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs. The Partnership, which receives no funding for its role in this campaign, is the primary provider of advertising to this federally backed effort. The advertising industry - which is and has been the heart and soul of The Partnership - continues to create our messages for free. All Partnership messages are made available to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

In addition to its work on the national level, The Partnership has helped create 55 state- and city-based versions of its national advertising campaign through its State/City Alliance Program. Working with state and city governments and locally based drug- prevention organizations, The Partnership provides - at no cost - the guidance, on-site technical assistance and creative materials necessary to shape a multimedia campaign tailored to local needs.

The Partnership is a demand reduction organization. Its messages seek to reinforce behavior among teens and pre-teens that do not use drugs; to prevent drug experimentation and initiation; and to persuade non-addicted users to stop. Messages target kids and parents. Ads created for The Partnership are subject to a rigorous approval process, including review by a panel of behavioral experts, final approval by a committee comprised of some of the best creative directors in the advertising industry and testing for effectiveness with target audiences.

Creating effective anti-drug campaigns requires talent, passion and dedication. It also requires an understanding of the issue that's firmly grounded in research. The Partnership has the largest body of consumer-based attitudinal research on drugs in the nation. This research provides insights into the minds of young people and helps to ensure our messages will reach and resonate with their intended audiences. Sophisticated consumer research - along with the critically important counsel of our partners in health care, education, government, entertainment and community volunteer organizations across the country - ensure that Partnership campaigns continue to meet the highest standards of excellence.


(1) - 1998 appropriation: $195 million; 1999 appropriation; $185 million; 2000 appropriation: $185 million; 2001 appropriation: $185 million; 2002 appropriation: $180 million.


The Partnership for a Drug-Free America

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