National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre has decided to dissociate itself from NSW government’s Stoner Sloth campaign, which aims at discouraging young people from smoking cannabis. The oversized human-like sloth, which is the face of the campaign, has drawn ridicule from the Internet for failing to reach out to its target audience in a focused way.

The videos that show a stoned sloth depicting a youth under the influence of marijuana in different situations may have failed to deliver the real message behind it. The message in the advertisements designed to attract the attention of the teenagers seems to be lost in a bid to make them a little light-hearted. But the campaign has become popular on the internet and is drawing a lot of attention, but its failed motive has made it a subject of mockery by the internet users.

Mike Baird, NSW’s premier, tweeted on Saturday, "Just saw the #StonerSloth ads. Not sure where NSW Gov's ad guys found Chewbaccas siblings, but those videos are… Quite something."

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and NSW Health launched the campaign but attributed the advertisements to an external ad agency and the research to the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre.

"It was designed to be shareable among young people who are some of the most vulnerable to cannabis use and to encourage them to stop using before they become dependent," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the spokesperson for the department as saying.

The NCPI has, however, released a formal statement saying that it’s involvement with the campaign was limited to analysing other anti-cannabis campaigns and making some general recommendations.

“In this case, those general recommendations were things like being aware that teenagers are intelligent and have access to a lot of information, so campaign approaches should respect them and give them credit by avoiding hyperbole,” the statement said.

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