my beef with "scare 'em straight" advertising is simple; the people employing it are complete hypocrites.
Take smoking (and the resident anti-smoking crusade) as an example. Sure, it's no secret that the tobacco companies have distorted the facts to sell more coffin-nails. Personally I'm surprised that people were outraged by this (what did you expect? They're selling something that kills you slowly and painfully,
they're going to distort facts to make their product seem appealing) but that's another matter.
Anyway, the zealous crusaders have wasted a lot of breath attacking Big Tobacco for its use of omission and fact distortion to purvey its product...while said crusaders use exactly the same tactics in their own advertisement.
Now, I'm a smoker but I've little respect for the companies that service my habit; they're great examples of corporate rapacity at the expense of the common good. But I've even less
respect for the "grass-roots" groups that attack them, for the reason I just mentioned. Both sides employ the same tactics, but one has the gall to claim moral high ground as a sort of justification.
"It's okay to lie and twist the truth, as long as you feel your cause is just" is a load of bullshit.