Merits of Integrated Marketing Communications Integrated marketing communications is adopted by organizations to accomplish the objective of maintaining and creating communication throughout its organizational members as well as its customers. The associated benefits of employing this approach include speedy movement towards outcomes, internal clarity on metrics and objectives to acquire them, clarity of the function and role of each channel and implementation of diverse media for increasing the opportunity to reach targeted audience. The implementation of IMC in fighting the wars against drugs would have brought much more fruitful results then the implementation of mass media advertising as advertising may be an effective medium of persuasion but are limited to one aspect of the goal while IMC deals with multiple approaches to address the issue. The role of advertising Industry Around two decades, the problem of drug use has been tackled by the Partnership for Drug Free America using advertising campaigns. Moreover it has been supported by the U.S. government directing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to carry on a national media drive for the intention of preventing and reducing drug abuse amongst young adults and children of America. However it has been seen to be controversial as its supporters suggest the campaign has been beneficial in curbing the issue while the critics propose the opposite opinion. Moreover, the ONDCP and PDFA have also been in difference over
the form of advertising that should be employed to discourage use of drug or in the implementation of any other form of integrated marketing approach.
Strategies to Combat Drug Use In the initial stages the PDFA started to utilize media to make aware children so that they may not indulge in drugs use by shaping attitudes through convincing information and succeeded in the development of biggest media campaign for public-service in 1986 and officially took the shape of PDFA in 1987. The anti-drug contents was being on-aired on the chief cable and broadcast television networks, various magazines and radio stations via space and time presented by the media. But despite utilizing various strategies the war against drugs was not able to achieve its targets. Upon involvement of U.S government, new ads were formulated considering the drug type and its effects as well as the particular target audience. Different messages were formulated to attract to particular age groups like teens, young people, and parents as well as various socio-economic, geographic and ethnic audiences. The involvement of ONDCP in the campaign was also criticized severely. To answer these concerns the ONDCP and PDFA provided studies that offered the effectiveness of media campaigns in attaining the results. In 1998, a new campaign was designed to address the issue by educating parents as well the youth regarding the bad consequences of drug use as well as providing the techniques that can be utilized while struggling resistance to abuse. The campaign was based on five themes including the instillation of belief that drug abuse is not a common phenomenon, encourage negative social outcomes of using drugs, encourage positive attributes of avoiding drug use, enhance and heighten the variety of social and personal skills required by youth as well as the positive utilization of time. It could be termed as an integrated marketing campaign and was