Research type 
Year of report 

Summary of findings


This phase of teenage pregnancy pre-testing research positively evaluated a variety of new radio and ambient resources:

  • ‘Summer Lovin’ emerged as a clear favourite for teenagers and parents across the sample, regardless of age or ethnicity. This execution was immediately impactful and memorable and relevant to teenagers. There was only one query raised. This advert has the potential to create awareness of the summer campaign.
  • ‘Roadshow’ was a relevant, credible execution in terms of style, which effectively communicated a strong message about risk which was endorsed by parents. It does need some revision and respondents also felt that the impact of the execution would be heightened if the introduction were shortened.
  • Mum going on Holiday’ was readily understood by teenagers from 14 years old upwards but was of most relevance to 14-16 year olds who appreciated the idea of ‘having sex on the mind’. The execution focuses clearly on the website information. Changes are required to aid parents’ and younger teenagers’ understanding of this
  • ‘Trevor Nelson’ was an execution strong on style and tone with music that was particularly popular amongst African Caribbean teenagers. Structural clarity is required before it is used. On the whole parents were less comfortable with the language than young people.
  • More generally, teenagers were concerned that the informational parts of the radio executions should be strongly communicated.
  • Parents were most comfortable with the executions which they perceived communicated ‘consequences’ messages They were less enthusiastic about executions which promoted the website address without a standalone consequence message. However, it was these executions (‘Trevor Nelson’ and ‘Mum’s going on holiday’) that were clearly popular amongst the teenage target audience and in particular the vulnerable and sexually experimental 14-16 year old age group.
  • ‘69’ was an execution with extremely limited and inconsistent appeal.
  • The Z cards, stickers and bus passes were all popular new ideas

Research objectives


The overall objective of the research was to pre-test new creative materials designed for the campaign. The specific objectives were to evaluate and explore the creative materials in terms of:

  • Impact, appeal and interest generated
  • Language and tone of voice
  • Views on style and design format
  • Communication
  • Changes/improvements
  • Sources of information – where and how would teenagers like to get this information?
  • Awareness of campaign (and perceived ‘fit’ of new executions)
  • Overall, the research was designed to provide direction for the creative development of the most recently developed teen pregnancy campaign materials.



Following an enquiry in 1999 by the Social Exclusion Unit into the main factors associated with teenage pregnancy, a major initiative, the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, was mounted in England to address this problem. The Teenage Pregnancy Unit was created to execute the strategy across all government departments and to work with different sectors. The strategy adopts a two-pronged approach, embracing the dual aims of preventing early teenage pregnancies and supporting young parents. Media activities form a major component of this strategy, alongside education initiatives and health and social provision.

A consortium of researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL) and the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) was commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct an independent evaluation of the strategy.

The campaign, which targets both young men and young women, and focuses on the themes of taking control of your life, choices and personal responsibility, was launched in October 2000.

A new series of adverts were planned and COI Communications commissioned qualitative research prior to their launch. The adverts tested included six radio executions and a range of different ambient approaches designed for the 2004 campaign

Research participants


The advertising being tested is targeted at young people aged 11 – 18. The research covered this group, together with parents

Audience Summary




  • General population
  • Afro-Caribbean
  • Asian


  • 11-13
  • 14-16
  • 17-18
  • 11-18
  • Parents of teenagers aged 11-18

Social Class


Not specified


Data collection methodology

Depth interviews

Other data collection methodology


The research approach was qualitative and consisted of a series of triad, pair and individual one-to-one depth interviews. The sample was composed of two main groups: teenagers aged 11-18 years old and parents of teenagers aged 11-18 years old

Sample size


All interviews were 1 hour in length 8 triads with (male & female) 11-18 year olds.

  • 2 triads – age 11-13 M&F
  • 2 triads – age 14-16 M&F
  • 2 triads - age 17-18 M&F
  • 2 triads – age 11-18 South Asian M&F

Afro/Caribbean representation in some triads

4 depths with teenagers in care 11-18

1hr 6 paired depths with parents of teenagers 11-18, including Afro Caribbean and South Asian

Detailed region


Interviews took place in Birmingham, Edgware (North London), Edmonton (North London), Lewisham (South London), Tower Hamlets (East London), Oldham and Southall.

Fieldwork dates


7 – 12 July 2004

Agree to publish



Research agency

Research Works Ltd

COI Number


Report format