South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday defended her state’s newest eye-catching campaign slogan to address a rising methamphetamine crisis, “Meth. We’re On It.”
Noem took to Twitter to note that catching people’s attention was the point behind the campaign.
“Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness,” Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted. “So I think that’s working … #thanks #MethWeAreOnIt.”
The campaign to combat rising meth usage released Monday was expected to draw traditional and social media attention, even criticism, as a means of publicizing it.
Many social media users mocked the message as being tone-deaf and a failed wordplay attempt.
But Noem’s office pushed back, saying the state “wanted to to id in a way that got the attention of the citizens,” according to Laurie Gill, head of the state’s Department of Social Services, in an interview with The New York Times.
“We are looking for a way that would cause the citizens to stop, pay attention and understand that we do have a meth issue and that there are resources available,” Gill said.
“That was the tone going into it, looking for something that would be edgy and that would be able to cut through clutter in advertising and social media.”
Gill added that meth usage in her state is reaching epidemic levels.
Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan noted Friday that much of the meth currently available in the country is being smuggled in by Mexico-based drug cartels.
“The illicit narcotics the transnational criminal organizations are flooding the U.S. with are making their way to every town, city, and state in this country,” Morgan said.
“It isn’t just a border issue. Make no mistake: If your city, town, or state has a meth problem, it came from the southwest border,” he added.