Reducing teenage pregnancy (29 May 2002)
Press Release (no.40)
29 May 2002
A new advertising campaign aimed at cutting the number of teenage pregnancies in Medway was launched this week. The campaign uses images from a student photographer with art direction by Sam Chick.
Medway Council, working with local Primary Care Trusts, commissioned students from Kent Institute of Art and Design's School of Photography to create four posters to promote awareness of local contraceptive and sexual health services for young people under the slogan 'Sex are you thinking about it enough?' The aim of the campaign is to encourage the young to use the range of sexual health services available to them. KIAD was approached because the students' closeness in age to the target audience was considered an advantage and the students consulted other young people throughout the development of the campaign.
Before spaces were booked for the posters, schools with above average levels of teenage pregnancy were identified together with the bus stops serving them. In all, 20 bus shelter sites were booked. The council and its partners believe that the campaign will be seen as pupils arrive for and leave school. The campaign will run during the three terms.
There is evidence that only 50 per cent of under-18s in the UK use contraception the first time they have sex, which contributes to the UK's very high teenage pregnancy rates. Gillingham, one of the Medway Towns, has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates of all.
The winner of the competitive pitch whose four designs are used in the campaign is Drew Reid, aged 20, a first-year student on KIAD's BA (Hons) Photography course.
Jonathan Simms, tutor said: "The maturity of all the students' work was impressive, particularly its appropriateness to both the subject matter and the public position of the advertisements near schools Drew's images have a freshness that is startling, but not shocking and instantly explains the text.''