Research type 
Year of report 

Summary of findings


Results from the evaluation continue to be encouraging, with a high proportion of young people exposed to the campaign, despite a lower level of spend over the past 6 months. Four fifths (81%) of 13-17s at wave 10 had seen or heard something from the campaign, sustaining the increase from wave 2 (67% at wave 2, 81% at wave 10). There are still few indications that the campaign is ‘wearing out’ or that young people are getting fed up with the messages it conveys. There is also continuing evidence that young people who have been exposed to the campaign feel more ‘empowered’ in relation to sex and relationships.

Social Class

  • There were still noticeable differences in access to information technology across social groups. Similar to previous waves, close to nine young people in ten (89%) said they had access to the internet at wave 11, though this drops to 63% for C2DE’s.
  • There were no very noticeable differences in terms of recognition or awareness by social class
  • Respondents from C2DE households were also less likely to have heard of the various types of contraceptive methods than those from ABC1 households (apart from injectable contraception or implants).


  • Although girls were more likely to be aware of advertising or publicity on sex and relationships than boys at all eleven waves, the gaps tended to fluctuate from wave to wave. At waves 7 and 9, the differences were significant. At waves 10 and 11, however, the gap was narrower and similar to that seen at other waves.
  • As at previous waves, girls were more likely to have seen, heard or read advertisements and articles on sex and relationships in magazines than boys. Over two fifths (44%) of girls mentioned magazine articles, compared with one in six (16%) boys.

Black and Minority Ethnic Communities

  • Analysis of responses by young people from black and minority ethnic communities (BME) showed that BME young people were less likely than their white counterparts to recognise the campaign (65% BMEs, 83% whites).
  • White respondents were much more likely than BMEs to be aware of a clinic they could visit for advice on sex (73% white 13-21s, 55% BME 13-21s), and this is similar to previous waves.
  • However, BME respondents responded to the ads in a similar way to their white counterparts – they were equally likely to enjoy the ads and see them as aimed at them, and were also equally likely to take the key campaign messages from the ads.

Research objectives


Evaluation Objectives

The aims of the evaluation were to assess progress towards the goals of the Teenage Pregnancy strategy and to provide data to assist in the effective implementation of the strategy. Specifically its aims were:

  • To assess progress towards the goals of the strategy
  • To evaluate the impact of the media campaign nationally and locally
  • To identify the processes by which “joined-up action” is achieved
  • To forge strong links between research and policy formation
  • To provide an ongoing reactive research function to guide and assess the effectiveness and impact of the national strategy.



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 tracking survey is one of the main ways in which the impact of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy's media campaign is monitored. 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. The first wave of the tracking study was conducted prior to the start of the campaign, in order to provide baseline data for the campaign and for the strategy as a whole.

Two major data sets inform the evaluation:

  • An area-based analysis of routinely available data
  • An individual-based tracking survey of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour conducted by BMRB International; this survey is used to assess progress towards the objectives of the strategy as a whole.

The tracking survey included questions on the following areas:

  • Awareness of advertising and publicity on sex and Relationships
  • Recognition/recall of different components of campaign
  • Recognition of Sexwise, and Onelife
  • Key sources of information and learning around sex and relationships
  • Where do young people prefer to get contraceptive advice and supplies?
  • The need for confidentiality
  • Knowledge attitudes and behaviours relating to sex, STIs and contraception

Wherever possible, questions were used from existing surveys, such as the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal II), the Randomised Intervention Trial of Programme of Peer-led Sex Education (RIPPLE) and the Labour Force Survey, to facilitate comparability with other data sets.

Audience Summary





General population



The two target groups for the tracking survey were young people aged 13-21 years, and parents of young people aged 10-17. Only young people were interviewed in waves 8, 10 and 11 (this wave).

Social Class


The achieved samples were weighted to be representative in terms of social grade. The more deprived were slightly over-sampled, reflecting the profile of families in England.


Data collection methodology


Other data collection methodology


The sample was drawn by means of Random Location sampling providing a high-quality sample within the target groups. This sampling method was chosen for advantages in terms of speed and practicality, whilst losing little in terms of being able to generalise from it.At each wave, fieldwork was spread across 200 sampling points in England, and to increase fieldwork efficiency, areas were chosen with a higher representation of 13-44 year olds. The sampling points used at later waves of the research were matched to the benchmark wave in terms of ACORN.

Sample size


The aim was to complete 125 interviews in each wave with each of the six sub-groups shown in the table below, making a total of around 750 interviews per wave. Interviews achieved in wave 11 are detailed below. Wave 11 Aged 13-15 128 (Boys), 132 (Girls), 260 (total) Aged 16-17 122 (Boys), 110 (Girls), 233 (total) Aged 18-21 124 (Boys), 123 (Girls), 247 (total) Total 374 (Boys), 365 (Girls), 739 (total)

Detailed region


National - 200 sampling points across England

Fieldwork dates


2nd February 2004 to 29th February 2004

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Research agency

BMRB International

COI Number