Press Release

First-Ever Advertising Campaign to Address Unplanned Pregnancy Among Young Women in the U.S. Launches Nationwide; Offers Tools and Advice at Bedsider.org

November 10, 2011

Nearly one in ten unmarried young women has an unplanned pregnancy each year, according to new data released today

WASHINGTON, DC, November 10, 2011—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy  is joining the Ad Council to debut a groundbreaking, first-ever national multimedia public service campaign designed to reduce the rates of unplanned pregnancy among unmarried young adults in the U.S. The three-year campaign directs sexually active women ages 18-24 to Bedsider.org, a new comprehensive online and mobile program, to help them find the right birth control method for them and use it carefully and consistently in an effort to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

The U.S. has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy in the entire developed world. Nearly one in ten unmarried young women (ages 20-29) has an unplanned pregnancy each year, according to new data developed by the Guttmacher Institute and released today by The National Campaign. That is approximately 1.3 million unplanned pregnancies annually—a 13 percent increase in this age group between 2001 and 2006.

According to public opinion data also being released today, the vast majority (84 percent) of unmarried young adults in their 20s believe it’s important to avoid getting pregnant or cause a pregnancy right now. Even so, previous research conducted by The National Campaign suggests that less than half of young women are using birth control consistently. Young adults who experience unplanned pregnancy and birth have fewer opportunities to complete their education or achieve other life goals, and their children experience more health risks and social risks as well.

Bedsider aims to help young women (ages 18-29) find a method of birth control that’s right for them and stick with it through a series of online, video and mobile components. At Bedsider, visitors can explore, compare, and contrast all available methods of contraception, set up birth control and appointment reminders, view videos of their peers discussing personal experiences, and view animated shorts that debunk myths about birth control. The strategy for Bedsider was developed by IDEO, an award-winning global innovation and design firm.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, M.D., a practicing physician, board certified in internal and addiction medicine, got an early look at Bedsider. Dr. Drew is also a relationship expert with a 28-year run as host of the nationally syndicated Loveline radio program.

“I’m excited about Bedsider,” said Pinsky. “It’s an exceedingly rare bird—an authoritative and engaging resource that young adults can trust. It’s not preachy; it’s fresh, funny, and easy to use. It also makes the difficult decisions about birth control easier to navigate and answer. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

The multimedia PSA campaign that is being launched in partnership with the Ad Council was created pro bono by ad agency Euro RSCG in New York and includes television, radio, print, web and non-traditional advertising, as well as an integrated social media program. The light-hearted ad campaign uses humor to communicate to young women about the importance of birth control. Featuring a montage of relatable and funny “sex mishaps,” the television ads conclude with the line “You didn’t give up on sex. Don’t give up on birth control either.”

“Bedsider and the accompanying PSA campaign are trying to ‘rebrand’ contraception as a positive part of life that promotes self-determination, education and achievement,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign. “Both bring fun and a light touch to an area that is too often hush-hush, serious and boring.”

The social media portion of the PSA effort will include outreach and engagement via the ad campaign’s Facebook and Twitter communities, including a new application launching later in November that will invite users to anonymously submit their funniest fails and most awkward romantic moments on both Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter program also includes the promotion of campaign-designated hashtags: #sexfail and #dontgiveup.

“Despite the public’s perception that unplanned pregnancy is largely confined to teens, new research reveals that this issue is a major problem among young adults and the consequences can be very serious,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.  “This breakthrough ad campaign uses identifiable humor to empower young women to find the birth control method that is best for them. It’s a public health effort that has the potential to benefit many, many young women.”

“The Bedsider PSA Campaign has an important message that we wanted to communicate in a world full of important messages,” said Lee Garfinkel, Co-Chairman of Euro RSCG New York. “In order to get this cynical young woman to pay attention and break through the clutter, we had to do something that was relatable and would have a high impact.”

The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide today. The ads will air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media.

Several media companies have made early commitments to support the new PSAs in donated media, including Viacom Media Networks, Demand Media, re:fuel (a former division of Alloy Media + Marketing) and long-standing National Campaign partner mun2.

The new research data is based on special tabulations conducted by the Guttmacher Institute (www.guttmacher.org). Information on pregnancy intentions comes from the 2002 and 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) surveys conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and a Guttmacher survey of abortion patients, and were combined with data on births from NCHS, induced abortions from a national survey of abortion providers, and estimates of miscarriages calculated from the NSFG surveys. Population denominators came from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The public opinion polling was conducted by telephone by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS), an independent research company. The survey is weighted to provide a nationally representative estimate of the unmarried populations ages 18-29. Telephone interviews (both landline and cell phone) were conducted by SSRS with 1,025 respondents from August 17-September 25, 2011.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families.  Our specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults.  We support a combination of responsible values and behavior by both men and women and responsible policies in both the public and private sectors.  If we are successful, child and family well-being will improve.  Please visit www.TheNationalCampaign.org to find out more.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council (www.AdCouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives.

Euro RSCG Worldwide
Euro RSCG Worldwide is a leading integrated marketing communications agency and was the first agency to be named Global Agency of the Year by both Advertising Age and Campaign in the same year. Euro RSCG is made up of 233 offices in 75 countries and provides advertising, marketing, corporate communications and digital and social media solutions to clients including Air France,  Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Danone Group, IBM, Kraft Foods, Lacoste, L’Oréal, Merck, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Reckitt Benckiser, sanofi-aventis and Volvo. Euro RSCG Worldwide is the largest unit of Havas, a world leader in communications (Euronext: HAV.PA) (Paris: HAV.PA).

Contacts:
The National Campaign
Bill Albert
202-478-8150
balbert@thenc.org

The Ad Council
Ellyn Fisher
212-984-1964
efisher@adcouncil.org

EuroRSCG
Jared Kreiner
212-886-4269
jared.kreiner@eurorscg.com

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