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‘Critical culture change’: Would a scare campaign stop drug use?

The gravelly voice of the grim repaper ad campaign, which terrified Australians the 1980s, could make a comeback in a bid to stop drug use.

The ad was a major turning point in the deadly outbreak of aids, and it’s because it’s scare-factor worked.

The advertising guru behind the confronting campaign says we need to do the same thing when it comes to drug use.

See the grim reaper ad below

Simon Reynolds says it’s time to dispell myths about safe drug use, saying people don’t understand the dangers just as they were unaware of how deadly HIV could be.

The NSW government has launched its own campaign with people who have survived overdose telling their stories.

“But do we need the shock factor to scare young people, old people, all people into another critical culture change?” says Ben Fordham.

Mr Reynolds says the “parallels between the aid situation 30 years ago… and some of these party drugs is very, very close”.

“There’s got to be a major wakeup call and it’s got to be extreme,” he tells Ben.

“I think it’s time this kind of hardcore advertising came back.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview