Chicago’s Edgy Teen Pregnancy Campaign

Shock value done right?

In an edgy new campaign, the Chicago Department of Public Health is tackling one of the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rates.

The ads show shirtless teen boys, each sporting a baby bump, and sober-looking faces.

0d925bdfe3f2231d_croppedarticle-0-19cc14570.previewLaunched last month, the campaign aims to “spark conversations among adolescents and adults on the issue of teen pregnancy and to make the case that teen parenthood is more than just a girl’s responsibility,” according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The eye-catching ads appear on trains, subways, public buses and bus shelters throughout Chicago.


Will the image of skinny boys with “pregnant” bellies make teens think twice about unprotected sex?

“We wanted to create an ad campaign that would cut through the clutter and get people thinking about teen pregnancy and teen births, and how it can affect more than just teen girls,” Brian Richardson, a spokesperson for the campaign tells TODAY Moms.

The ads direct the viewer to, a comprehensive online resource on adolescent health.


Chicago’s PSA is launched just weeks after New York City’s anti-teen pregnancy movement.

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Showcasing sad and distraught children that are living impoverished lives, the subway and bus shelter ads include warnings and statistics in an attempt to encourage the 27 percent decline in teen pregnancy rates.

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Admittedly, both campaigns caught my attention, but I’m not sure either city got it right.

I like the poverty theme in the NYC ads. But I’m not convinced that guilt-tripping our teens is the way to go.

And, oh boy! It is shocking to see boys with bumps, but again, I’m not sure if Chicago is effectively reaching the hearts and minds of our youth.

Which teen pregnancy campaign is most effective?

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