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FCB and Drug Free Kids Canada Help Parents Test Run the Cannabis Talk Through “Practice Kids”

Press Release - Montreal, 12 March 2019

In a role reversal, teens teach parents how to have successful conversations about cannabis use with their own kids.

Montreal, March 12, 2019 – Cannabis is legal nationwide in Canada for both recreational and medicinal purposes. With cannabis readily available across the country, usage among teens is on the rise – resulting in one in five teens aged 15-19 using cannabis in the past year alone1. But trial should be delayed as 90%, of addictions start in the teen years2.

Research shows that one of the main reason kids will stay away from drugs is so as not disappoint their parents,3so when parents have a conversation about cannabis with their kids, the kids will often put off trying it until later in life, and in some cases, maybe they won’t try it at all. But parents don’t always know what to say and how to say it, and so, they end up avoiding the conversation, fearing they won’t be credible or that it will damage their relationship. “Considering that this discussion between parents and teens is critical, we worked with FCB to find the right solution to help parents overcome these fears, empowering them to make that conversation happen” adds Marc Paris, DFKC Executive Director.

FCB Canada and Drug Free Kids Canada (DFKC) developed a new campaign designed to help families navigate these tough conversations – equipping parents with the forum to practice the cannabis talk with a group of teens, so they can be prepared for any reaction. “Kids don’t come with an instruction booklet and other than prenatal classes, parents aren’t taught how to parent and have those tough conversations with their teens. But what if we could give them the chance to rehearse – a chance to test the cannabis conversation with other teens, and get tips from these experts on how to navigate it successfully? That’s the whole point of this campaign: to give parents that opportunity,” says Sylvain Dufresne, head of creative at FCB Montreal. 

A group of real teens ranging in age from 13 to 17 was recruited and trained to connect with real parents who want to get the cannabis talk right before facing their own kids. A “How To Talk To Teens About Cannabis” session was advertised, like any other seminar, for parents who were struggling with the topic, except they were in for a real surprise: the introduction of a new kind of instructor – teens the same age as their own kids. The stunt was captured and used to create the content to launch, the online resource hub for parents.

This initiative will be followed up by a series of Facebook Live sessions in order to make these “Practice Kids” available to every Canadian parent. Those sessions will be scheduled on a monthly basis through July 2019, in both French and English.

The multifaceted national 360 campaign created by FCB Canada also includes TV, radio, print, OOH, social content and banner components, as well as a series of videos featuring the “Practice Kids” offering tips to fuel the conversation and quizzes to start it off on the right foot. For more information, or to sign up for a practice kid live session on Facebook, please visit:


1Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, 2017

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)

2018 DFKC National Attitudinal Survey




About FCB

FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company with a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873. Based on a deeply developed understanding of diversified local markets and global cultures, FCB focuses on creating “Never Finished” campaign ideas for clients that reflect a deep understanding of the brand’s past, a respect for the present and an anticipation of the future potential. With more than 8,000 people in 109 operations in 80 countries, the company is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). With operations in Toronto and Montreal that include FCB Health (healthcare marketing), Fuel Content (content creation), FCB/SIX (CRM) and Segal (licensing). FCB Canada is proud to serve some of the world’s most admired brands, including Air Canada, BMO, Beiersdorf, Clorox, Mondelez International, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Ontario Lottery & Gaming. To learn more about FCB Canada, visit or


About Drug Free Kids Canada

Drug Free Kids Canada is a private sector, non-profit organization that creates and disseminates drug education and prevention messages with the help of their partners in advertising, research and media. DFKC also offers parents valuable tools and practical tips on how to start the conversation with their kids at