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'Offensive' Teen Pregnancy Ad Yanked from USA Today

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Does it offend you?

The Candie's Foundation's "America, Wake Up" PSA campaign to prevent teenage pregnancy was due to run as a full-page advertisement in today's USA Today. On Friday afternoon, the publication rejected the ad after much discussion about their desire to avoid offending their readers.

USA Today began by explaining that it did not want to offend its readers and subsequently changed and re-changed its position until ultimately rejecting the PSA late Friday afternoon claiming they downsized the paper and "could not accommodate the ad."

The Candie's Foundation debuted the new campaign in honor of October being "Let's Talk" month, that encourages parents to speak with kids about sex and teen pregnancy.

Neil Cole, founder of The Candie's Foundation, stated, "This is very disappointing. We are trying to get across an important message about the devastating consequences of teen pregnancy and one of the key publications to reach parents and families is USA Today. The fact that they deem this PSA as offensive further drives home the key problem that the media is not addressing this issue."

candies foundation print ad

The print PSA features a call to action for parents to watch the Foundation's "What Are You Doing?" PSA television spot along with their teenagers tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW during the hit show, "Gossip Girl." The goal of the campaign is to act as a conversation starter for parents to talk to their children about teen pregnancy prevention.

Cole added, "We felt like 'Gossip Girl' was the perfect outlet to televise the PSA because its audience is mostly composed of teens and young adults."

The New York Times and New York Post ran the PSA in today's paper.

Do you think USA Today should have yanked the ad?

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27 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nicole October 28, 2008, 1:26 PM

Offensive? Give me a break. It’s bad enough that the Bush administration is against comprehensive sex education…. and now the media is being pressured into dropping ads that might potentially wake parents up? Parents need to have these discussions with their children, no matter how embarrassing, in order to prevent teenage pregnancy among other things.

I hope someone runs this ad. It can not happen soon enough!

Carol October 29, 2008, 12:51 AM

What a shame that the ad was not run. Did the paper not run it due to political beliefs, did it hit home to some or was it just to realistic of an ad to run. I hope that they lose a lot of readers because of their narrow minded thinking. They should have mentioned that sexual transmitted diseases are still a major problem also.

Becca October 30, 2008, 8:21 PM

The add was fine and in fact i think it should be aloud to air! They could even do different versions of the add! Targeting different sections of our American culture! To say they shouldn’t have used rich people is funny because they are just as likely if not more to have children running a muck and getting pregnant! We need more adds of this type to put reality in the face of teens where they can’t hide from it. Being sexually aware should be more then just about pregnancy as well. Most adults and schools don’t get it across to teens the risks of STD’s and pregnancy! This add is just fine and the only thing i could suggest is making a similar ad targeting the guy involved. Put the baby in his lap and have mom get out of the car! Or perhaps it could fade to where they are now siting in a doctors office and now its a doctor saying you have clamidia! Who does USA today think their offending? The teens getting pregnant and contracting std’s! Who cares if they are offended! Reality hurts and its about time things started to change! I say let the add run!

Jennifer December 15, 2008, 8:41 PM

As a proponent of comprehensive sex ed, I’m offended by the use of the term epidemic.

Since when did the birth of a child signal a disease?

MobMom3 October 16, 2010, 12:47 PM

I do not see anything wrong with this ad. In fact, I think teenagers need to see this.. It is ONE of the possible consequeces. People who don’t educate their kids are stupid! There needs to be ads like this everywhere!!!

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