United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Serve Marketing launch provocative “Sex Myth” ads

Campaign debunks common myths; promotes dialogue between parents and teens

United Way of Greater Milwaukee, in collaboration with Serve Marketing, launched a provocative new campaign today that will deliver a strong message to parents of teen and pre-teen children – if you’re not talking to teens about sex, someone else is.

The campaign, titled “Who’s Teaching Your Child about Sex?” is designed to start that conversation between parents and youth about sex and the many myths surrounding teen pregnancy.

The campaign features kids proliferating many sex myths, and depicts them spreading throughout a school without any attempt to debunk or call into question the validity of the myths.

“The campaign is a wake-up call to parents, urging them to take control of the conversation,” explains Nicole Angresano, vice president of Community Impact for United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

“Though it may seem hard to believe, and even silly, these myths are out there and young people believe many of them.

We want to make sure our youth are getting accurate information and we know parents are the best source for that.

Parents should be their children’s first and primary health educators, and we want to give them tools that will help them answer tough questions.”

The integrated campaign kicks off today with a strong, interactive social media and online component that includes videos and an online quiz.

Teens and parents will be directed to a website created by Serve Marketing for the campaign, http://www.getthesexfacts.com/ where they can take the Sex Myth quiz, view the videos, share them with their own friends through social media and get access to more information.

There is also an interactive YouTube site where teens and parents can take the quiz; http://youtube/vNAQAAv47PA.

“The average teen spends more than five hours a day online and the kind of misinformation they’re getting about sex is frightening,” notes Serve Creative Director, Gary Mueller.

“We wanted to use social media to combat these myths because that’s where the conversations are happening.

And at the same time we want to open the eyes of parents to what their kids are learning online.”

Mueller and Angresano are hoping teens and parents alike will share the content with their networks to create greater awareness of the importance of these types of conversations.

Other elements of the campaign, including bus shelter ads and television spots will roll out throughout October in support of Let’s Talk Month.

The multi-pronged campaign is the latest tactic in the United Way-led Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Milwaukee’s teen birth rate is currently at a historically low level. City of Milwaukee health officials say the current trend indicates that Milwaukee should be on track to reduce the teen birth rate by 46 percent by 2015, a goal which was set by United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Center for Urban Population Health and the Milwaukee Health Department in 2008.