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Partnership For a Drug-Free America

  • By: Patrick K. O'Brien
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The Partnership For a Drug-Free America (PDFA) was started in 1986 by Phil Joanou, then the chairman of the Los Angeles advertising agency Daley and Associates. The idea for PDFA was introduced by Joanou at the annual meeting of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) in 1986. Joanou asked the AAAA for a $300,000 grant to create what was originally called the Media-Advertising Partnership for a Drug-Free America. At first, the PDFA was envisioned as a temporary three-year campaign that would require $1.5 billion in advertising costs to achieve success in “unselling drugs.” The first PDFA advertisements were aired on April 13, 1987, with funding from the AAAA. Upon its inception, the PDFA named Dick Reilly as its first chief executive officer, and Tom ...

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