Kaiser Family Foundation, UPN Unveil Public Service Campaign on Teen Sexual Health Issues
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the UPN television network have teamed up to produce several "attention-grabbing" public service announcements targeted at teens' sexual health issues. The PSAs, which will begin airing the week of Jan. 8, will aim to educate teens about abstinence, "healthy relationships," STDs and safer sex. By broadcasting the spots during "popular" youth shows such as "Moesha" and "Girlfriends," UPN and the Kaiser Family Foundation hope to reach "millions" of teen viewers. Victoria Rideout, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said, "UPN is one of the best venues there is for reaching teens, and what's especially exciting about this campaign is the way we're getting to key groups of teens with messages designed specifically for them." She added that with nearly four million STDs and many unplanned pregnancies occurring each year among teens, "it's incredibly important that they have the information they need to make healthy choices." The PSAs are "specially tailored" to reach target groups within the teen population: Three of the PSAs will target African-American youth and three will be aimed at teenage boys. "We want to speak to our audience about important issues like sexual health in a way they will actually hear, and we think these spots can cut through," Tom Nunan, president of entertainment at UPN, said. Three of the PSAs -- "Car Wash," "Hair" and "Perfect Girl" -- will be shown during UPN's Monday night programming schedule, which features shows targeted toward African Americans. The three other PSAs aimed at teenage males will air on Thursday nights during "WWF Smackdown!" One of the spots aimed at male teens features an "extroverted" man dressed in a crab suit discussing "just how easy it is to meet a sexually transmitted disease." Another PSA features a dachshund named Stiffy and the tag line, "Down, boy." The PSAs will refer viewers to www.meet-an-std.com and www.thechoiceismine.com, where they can view the commercials and obtain additional information on sexual health. Additional Web sites will be available in the coming months. The airtime for the campaign was donated by UPN (UPN/KFF release, 1/5). Please note: You must have Windows Media Player to view the ads.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.