Only Nick Kroll’s pet plastic surgery ad for Comedy Central’s Kroll Show has this beat.
Today, ads in the same vein as the one seen on the right will pop up on subways everywhere. Their main theme: Fifty percent of teenagers do not understand the seriousness of pregnancy at such an early age. And, as you can see, they’re bound to grab any viewer’s immediate attention. We guess that’s advertising at its core, right?
The campaign is the latest from the NYC Department of Social Services to address the issue of teen pregnancy. It will be followed with a YouTube video series later this month as well as an informational text message program for young adults. In both, the Health Department will attempt to reiterate that message.
The new ads rides off the recent controversy brewing over the city’s CATCH program. This initiative (increasingly) places Plan B and birth control in the hands of public school health workers, naturally infuriating the parents of students subject to the in-school contraceptives.
But that story parallels the news that teen pregnancy has dropped more than 27 percent in New York City over the past decade. Although the numbers split drastically by borough and race, Health Commissioner Tom Farley pointed to two reasons for the overall decline: Teenagers are having less sex and using more protection.
And, now, there might be a third: that these ads will scare the living daylights of kids everywhere.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 4, 2013