Hollywood, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2012 -- Richard Sears of Synthetic directed this two-spot campaign for Women's Fund of Mississippi and The Ramey Agency designed to drive teens to a site which dispels myths about sex, including such matters as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and birth control.
In the "Pregnancy" PSA, we see the places where high schoolers go to avoid adult supervision--first a now empty hotel room as a supered graphic reads, "You can't get pregnant your first time," followed by a resounding "False." Then there's a backyard swimming pool where the misnomer that chlorine prevents STDs is dispelled. The camera next takes us to a bonfire in the woods accompanied by the inaccuracy that birth control pills stop STDs. Then we see a parked car with the sound of a couple laughing inside. "I can pull out in time," reads a super, followed by the myth buster "False." An end tag and voiceover urge viewers to separate fact from fiction and to log onto FactNotFiction.com.
No people are seen in the spot--just the locations where private couplings can happen. The character-rich locations allow for a raw and gritty look reminiscent of Mississippi's iconic photographer William Eggleston.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that Mississippi's teen birth rate (55 per 1,000 teens) is nearly double the national average (34.3 per 1,000 teens). In spite of school-based education programs, the Centers for Disease Control reports 58% of all Mississippi high schoolers (9th-12th grade) are sexually active and 35% did not use a condom when they last had sex. It's statistics such as these that motivated director Sears to be a part of the FactNotFiction.com PSA campaign.
"The law of the land in Mississippi allows for contraception education, and the goal of these PSAs is to equip parents and students to ensure a complete school health program is available," said Sears. The campaign is airing with some resistance, however, in a conservative southern state where women's health issues and sex education are the center of controversial debates. Carol Penick, executive director of the Women's Fund of Mississippi said, "We are in no way encouraging the teens in our state to have sex. However, if a teen does choose to have sex, we simply want them to be able to make an educated decision--and to fully understand the risks involved."