A new ad campaign from the California Department of Health Services aims to fight teen pregnancy in the state by urging teenagers to abstain from sex. The ads, tagged "Hold off on sex. Hold on to your future," break statewide today.
The estimated $4 million campaign, part of a three-year outreach effort by the state agency's Partnership for Responsible Parenting, was created by Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn, Sacramento, Calif.
"[The ads] use language and social situations that teens can easily identify with," said state health director Kim Belshƒ. "The messages empower teens to make responsible [sexual] decisions until they are older, more mature and ready to start a family."
Ads, appearing in English and Spanish on mall kiosks in target markets such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, outline various teen pregnancy facts. One reads, "Every eight minutes, a teenager in California has a baby." Another, showing a sullen teenage girl holding a crying baby, asks, "Is this really the kind of pager you want?"
A series of 60-second radio spots features teenage girls and boys discussing sex and parenthood. One young mother says, "I had a baby when I was only 15. It's like a whole chunk of my life was just gone."