New PSAs: Avoid Unwanted Pregnancies

Ad Council Campaign Targets Touchy Topic With Humor

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Helping young women avoid unplanned pregnancy is the focus of a new PSA campaign from the Ad Council and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The multimedia effort, created pro bono by Euro RSCG, New York, is designed to reduce the rates of unplanned pregnancy among unmarried women ages 18 to 24.

According to the National Campaign, nearly one in 10 unmarried women ages 20 to 29 has an unplanned pregnancy each year, or 1.3 million pregnancies annually, giving the U.S. one of the highest rates in the developed world and a 13% increase among this age group between 2001 and 2006. While 84% of women in this age group believe it's important to avoid pregnancy right now, National Campaign research found that fewer than half are using birth control consistently.

The new PSAs, which include television, radio, print, Web, social media and nontraditional advertising, use humor to emphasize the importance of birth control and end with the line: "You didn't give up on sex. Don't give up on birth control either."

The ads direct women to go to, a new online and mobile program offering information on birth control options. Bedsider, developed by design firm IDEO, also allows users to set up birth control and appointment reminders, see videos of their peers discussing personal experiences and view short animated videos that debunk some myths surrounding birth control.

The effort will include outreach and engagement on Facebook and Twitter, such as a new application debuting later this month that will invite users to anonymously submit their funniest or most awkward romantic moments.

"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 announcing the effort. "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."