Workshop: White heroin warning campaign Amsterdam: targeting a hard to reach international audience.

One of the workshops at our CIP Conference 2017 on 16 June 2017 at University of Lisbon – Faculdade de Psicologia.

Note: Tom Compaijen is repeating this workshop as a CIP Webinar on 22 February 2018 at 6pm (Brussels time) Register here to attend this webinar.

In this workshop I will review the white heroin warning campaign from the City of Amsterdam (2015 – 2016). I was communication advisor in the crisis team. In a short time period 3 tourist died and 20 where in life threatening situations because a drug dealer sold extremely dangerous white heroin as cocaine to tourists. The city of Amsterdam organized a warning campaign using all different kind of communication methods from big light boards to social media and peer to peer. With a complex network of stakeholders we reached people in countries all over Europe, Australia and the United States.

The campaign got world wide attention, even The Washington Post headline said: ‘This is what a sane drug policy looks like.’ The campaign was nominated for best communication project in The Netherlands.

In the workshop I will discuss the whole case from begin to end, the dilemma’s of the crisis team, the way we used social media networks to communicate with a difficult to reach target audience and the results and outcome of the whole crisis project.


Tom Compaijen is former advisor crisis communication from the City of Amsterdam, currently owner of Compaijen C&C

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