When truth in advertising gets criticized

I don’t often write about advertising. It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just so many others have the time to do it on a regular basis. When I write about advertising, it’s either because I see an opportunity that’s not been covered or because an ad campaign touches on larger issues.

Like when New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg launches a blunt ad campaign that relies on data to reduce teen pregnancy, and it’s condemned for speaking the truth.



What’s the objection? That these ads shame unmarried, teen mothers and fathers.
Who’s saying this? The organizations and people who say they care about unmarried, teen mothers and fathers. In other words, the very people who should know how difficult life is for unmarried teen moms and their babies.

If they care as much as they say, maybe they would do more good if they:

1) Care less about hurt feelings of unmarried, teen mothers and fathers
2) Care more about the lives of unmarried, teen mothers and fathers
3) Care more about the babies of unmarried, teen mothers and fathers

Instead, Planned Parenthood of New York City writes a press release that includes a quote from Haydee Morales, Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of NYC.

Teenage parenthood is simply not the disastrous and life-compromising event these ads portray.

How do you reason with logic like that?

And while teen pregnancy rates have declined the past two decades, the CDC reports that those who did not graduate from high school, and who tend to be the poorest population, account for 83% of first births outside marriage. If Ms. Morales thinks that’s okay, at least Mayor Bloomberg does not.

About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see http://www.amazon.com/Descending-Memphis-Robert-R-Moss/dp/0692364226
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