SOCIAL welfare groups claim the Government's use of Canto-pop performers to communicate anti-drug messages to young people is ineffective. The groups say the concerts provoke initial interest but fail to convey an in-depth message. The criticism came as the Security Branch Narcotics Division and the Housing Department said they would be working with radio stations to promote 10 concerts with an anti-drug theme in selected housing estates from May 28. The branch says Canto-pop idols are ideal for promoting the message and has increased the number of concerts in the annual event, from only five previously. Thomas Mulvey, of the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, questioned the success of previous events and felt the money could be put to more effective use in drug education. 'I don't know if somebody has done an assessment on the success of such concerts but I cannot see them making effective use of the money,' he said. 'In my experience, a concert can be effective in attracting initial attention but you must have an in-depth educational follow up or else the message will be lost with further concerts. They see the messenger but don't see the message.' Mr Mulvey said more effective warnings to parents on the drug dangers their children might face would be a more powerful tool. He said parents should be the anti-drug idols. 'If more parents were involved with their children in this area then they would be less vulnerable to the attraction of drugs,' he said. Director of the Boys and Girls Club Association, Justina Leung Mou-yin, said concerts wasted resources and felt open dialogue between parents and children was more important. 'The Government is conscious of the importance of promoting an anti-drug message but they are simply not getting the message across,' she said. Security Branch spokesman Belinda Hui Wai Woon-ching admitted criticisms had been made of the use of Canto-pop stars but argued the message was powerful to young people. 'If we use a variety show and radio broadcast people will be more interested in it. These days children have too many lectures from parents and school teachers,' she said.