London Drug Action Teams


Release believes in a just and fair society where drug policies should reduce the harms associated with drugs; and where those whose drugs experience is based on principles of human rights, dignity and equality. Their knowledge and expertise was key in convincing the 26 London Drug Action Teams across the Capital to consolidate their borough-wide drug education funding and to focus their resources on a single, high-profile, drug-awareness campaign.

Their research showed strong evidence that young Londoners, aged 16-24, who regularly attended club and ‘rave’ venues, were the group most at risk from the dangers of illegal drug use and the law surrounding it.

Our creative approach

We set the campaign objectives and defined the brief, concluding that any campaign would only be effective if it communicated on a platform of public health rather than a criminal justice approach. Instructive, not prescriptive. Acceptance, not disapproval. 

Furthermore, and controversially, we asserted that the visual language must use the same tone-of-voice – provocative, subversive, euphoric, amplified, incendiary – as defiant as its target audience – if it was to gain traction, engage them, and make a difference. We devised a brand mark ‘LondonDanceSafety’ and prepared several creative approaches and presented client visuals – modified where necessary – for focus group testing, before developing the preferred concept into a coherent poster campaign. 


Evaluation carried out by the London Drug Action Teams and Release revealed the campaign had been extremely well received and hugely successful communicating to those young people the risks, the law and their rights where illegal drug use was concerned.

The posters proved so popular that the smaller format versions, displayed in Universities and student halls of residence, required an additional print run within two weeks of launch, as most were being ‘repurposed’ to adorn the walls of individual student apartments and bedrooms!

The work was recognised by the Design and Art Directors Association of the UK (D&AD) – the Oscars of the design profession – for which Michael received a coveted Silver Award Nomination.