United Way Targets Teens in Provocative Ad Campaign

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By Chip Brewster

MILWAUKEE — United Way of Greater Milwaukee launched a new, provocative ad campaign Tuesday, June 12th, targeted at teens. It delivers a message to parents to talk to kids about healthy relationships.

The ads depict teen girls with snakes and rats crawling on them, with the message: “What kind of man preys on underage girls?” They also direct parents to BabyCanWait.com, a website where they can learn more about how to talk to their teens about healthy relationships.

“It is an all hands on deck effort,” said Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact for United Way of Greater Milwaukee. “I can’t even begin to articulate how many people are at work on this issue.”

The ads are strategically placed at bus shelters in areas with high teen pregnancy rates. Officials say statutory rape is tied to the city’s teen pregnancy rate. The new ads depict men who get involved with minors as literal predators.

“Most of the children born to teens are fathered by adult males,” Angresano said.

The goal of this ad campaign and others created by United Way and Serve Marketing is to cut the rate of teen pregnancies 46 percent by 2015. They’re a little more than halfway into the ten-year campaign and the effort appears to be working. The latest statistics show teen pregnancies in Milwaukee dropping by more than 30 percent. In fact, Milwaukee’s teen birth rate is currently at a historically low level.

United Way and Serve Marketing are already collaborating on another ad campaign set to come out in late summer 2012. Then in October, the latest statistics on the region’s teen pregnancy rate will be released. United Way is expecting another rate decrease.

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