Milwaukee’s newest ad campaign tackles the issue of statutory rape Ads targets teens and adult males in areas with highest teen birth rates

August 15, 2014

unnamedUnited Way of Greater Milwaukee, in collaboration with Serve Marketing, is launching a provocative new public awareness campaign that will deliver a strong message to adults and teens – about the harsh consequences of statutory rape.
According to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, most babies born to teen moms in Milwaukee are fathered by adult men. It’s a problem that the city simply can’t ignore, said Nicole Angresano, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
“This community cannot ignore statutory rape and sexual victimization if we truly want to impact teen pregnancy,” Angresano, said. “Milwaukee will not accept statutory rape as status quo. We will continue to elevate awareness of this issue until young people are able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships, between love and abuse, and between legal and illegal. ”
The powerful ads show empty jail cells, as adults being fingerprinted and in the back of police cars. Headlines all start with the words, “If age is just a number,” then finish with statements like, “jail is just a room,” “sex offender is just a nickname, ” and “this is just a free ride.” The copy goes on to read, “Sex with an underage teen is statutory rape. It’s also a felony you may want to think twice about committing.” Viewers are directed to for more information.
One of the most shocking and significant challenges the United Way-led Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative has faced over the past eight years is the link between Milwaukee’s epidemic teen pregnancy rates and statutory rape.
“For a lot of young teens girls, getting the attention of an adult man is flattering,” explains Serve founder and volunteer creative director Gary Mueller. “We hope these ads make it crystal clear that when the relationship turns to sex, it’s rape.”
This effort comes on the heels of the group’s wildly successful interactive YouTube campaign called “Sex Myths”-which launched last fall and got over 200,000 teens to take an interactive sex quiz online.