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Grade This Marketing Approach

July 26, 2011
by Gary Enos, Editor
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A small black-and-white newspaper ad, spotted unexpectedly in the middle of my Sunday sports page last weekend, reminded me of the deep divide between proponents of medication treatments and drug-free therapies.

Placed to attract potential clients in a neighboring state to The Way Back (, a Durham, Conn.-based facility offering long-term treatment, the ad opens with a bang: “Treating Drug Addiction With Drugs Is Unacceptable and Doesn’t Work!”

That’s followed by specific mention of the two most prevalent medications to treat opiate addiction. “Suboxone and Methadone Are Not the Answer,” the ad reads.

What do you think of this approach for reaching addicts and/or their family members? Is it important for those who adhere to a particular mode of treatment to argue the shortcomings of other methods? Are there downsides to this strategy? I’d like to hear your views.



Newspaper ads have a very short shelf life, (gone the next day,) and a small black and white ad would typically not produce much attention. From a marketing viewpoint this particular ad was very successful — it caught your attention, (first priority of an ad,) — and it produced results, (this survey brought the name and location of The Way Back to your many readers.)
In an extraordinarily competitive field The Way Back is striving to occupy a particular marketing position, "We don't use drugs to treat drug addicts." There exists a number of potential referents/therapists who may agree with this philosophy and would therefore consider The Way Back as a placement for clients. I think the ad targets referents not addicts and their families.
As marketing professional I believe in the necessity of producing and establishing a specific marketing position — kudos to The Way Back.

Gary Enos


Gary Enos

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He also...

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