New Digital Billboards Alert Parents to the Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse


Angelo M. Valente
Executive Director

PDFNJ and Clear Channel Outdoor Alert Parents to The Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

MILLBURN― The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), in cooperation with Clear Channel Outdoor, has come together to alert New Jersey parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse through the use of cutting edge digital billboard messages featuring the “Who Knew Grandma Kept a Stash” prescription drug abuse campaign.

“Prescription drug abuse is a rising problem in of our state,” explained Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the PDFNJ, “Understanding the risks these drugs pose to our children is essential for parents. Parents are the number one tool in substance abuse prevention and their communication with their children about the dangers of these drugs is key in preventing their use.”

Valente noted that 44% of New Jersey parents of Middle School students said they know a little or just about nothing about prescription drug abuse, according to the 2007 PDFNJ Parents Tracking Survey. He also explained that the 2007 Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) Principals Survey found that half of the participating principals said that prescription drugs are abused more than twice that of ecstasy and cocaine by New Jersey Middle School students.

“Perhaps most alarming,” according to Valente, “is that the PDFNJ 2007 Drug Testing in Schools Study found that 30% of Middle School students in New Jersey, said that using prescription drugs not prescribed to you does not have any real health consequences or have only mild health consequences, but they’re not serious or too long lasting.”

“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is once again committed to raising the awareness of parents to this dangers new trend and our organization is proud to be working with Clear Channel Outdoor to utilize this innovative form of advertising to get the message out and save the lives of New Jersey’s children,” Valente explained.

Clear Channel Outdoor’s New York division consists of three digital bulletins on major thoroughfares in New Jersey: I-95, south of Paterson Plank Road, I-80, west of Exit 58, and I-78, east of the Garden State Parkway. These units represent the first installation of the new LED technology in the creation of a digital network that is designed to deliver general market coverage for local area advertisers. In addition to these three billboards, the company will add two additional locations to maximize the effectiveness and reach of the content carried on the displays.

Digital billboards display static messages that resemble standard painted/printed billboards when viewed. However, the new digital outdoor network allows advertisers the flexibility to remotely change their message as many times as needed to adapt to market conditions and without any production or shipping charges associated with the traditional billboard application. Kicking off with public service announcements for the first month, Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboard network in Northern New Jersey is currently running a campaign to raise awareness for the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s efforts.

“The Partnership For A Drug-Free New Jersey has developed a multi media campaign to alert New Jersey families of the alarming rise in the abuse of prescription drugs by young people,” said Angelo M. Valente, executive director, PDFNJ. “Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital network is the perfect platform upon which to launch this important statewide effort.”

“We are proud to be aiding New Jersey’s efforts in the fight against drugs,” said Timothy Kennedy, General Manager of Clear Channel Outdoor, New York, whose division also includes Northern New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. “Digital networks bring benefits to the public as they can instantaneously post Amber Alerts, FBI ‘wanted’ information and emergency messaging such as weather, disaster, evacuation and traffic announcements.”

Kennedy explained that advertising on the digital network is displayed simultaneously on each display and typically consists of an eight-second spot that runs every 64 seconds continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Advertisers will be able to deliver real-time information, and have the opportunity to target and purchase campaigns by day part, location, or geography.

Best know for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $25 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history.