South Dakota group upset Minnesota agency won meth campaign

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Add South Dakota ad agencies to the chorus unhappy with a state anti-meth campaign that included the provocative tagline, “Meth: We’re on it.”

The South Dakota Advertising Federation is upset that the account went to a Minnesota ad agency. In a statement Wednesday, the federation says nine in-state agencies bid on the contract and the money could have stayed in South Dakota.

The state is paying Broadhead, a Minneapolis agency, almost $700,000 for its work.

The federation didn’t directly criticize the campaign, which drew ridicule on social media, but said in its statement that the in-state agencies “could have delivered a message by South Dakotans that resonates with South Dakota.”

It also described the state’s meth problem as “a serious, real and devastating epidemic” that called for a campaign “that should not be taken lightly.”

Executive director Maggie Saugstad said Thursday that South Dakota has enough talent to produce a campaign that fits with the character of the state.

“There’s so much controversy about how the message was delivered that we’ve lost the actual message in the process,” she said.

Gov. Kristi Noem has called the ads a success. She says the campaign was intended to be “provocative” and the Minneapolis agency chosen because it proposed ads that go beyond typical drug awareness campaigns.

The Associated Press