Research type 
Year of report 

Summary of findings


Access to the internet

  • 16-21s less likely to have access or use the net
  • 26% DEs have no access or never use the net (8% others)
  • 68% 13-21s have access at school
  • 67% have access at home

Awareness of advertising

  • Additional spend has led to increase in spontaneous awareness of publicity – highest level achieved – driven by strong increase in awareness of radio
  • Safe sex and contraceptive use remain top of mind – specific STI messages not prominent, though strong amongst older young people

Campaign recognition

  • Girls’ total campaign recognition (13-17) remains higher than boys (86% compared to 69%)
  • ABC1s’ recognition returned to previous levels – 75% W6, 70% W7, 74% W8 – C2DEs remain at previous high levels
  • Girls 13-17 consistently more likely to recognise radio ads (W8 G 72%, B 60%)
  • As at previous waves, girls (66%) more likely than boys (32%) to recognise picture ads
  • Three quarters recognise at least one of the ads they were shown or played
  • Strong increase in boys’ recognition of ads – although girls still more likely to recognise ads

Advertising communication

  • Messages remain centred on using contraception – further slight increase in % saying you should not believe what your friends say – STI message becoming stronger
  • More ‘top of mind’ for 16-17s
  • Young people recognise ads are aimed at them and feel the ads understand them
  • introduction of new ads has had effect of retaining interest – 1/4 young people talked about ads with others

Sexwise and

  • Further climb in awareness of Sexwise – 1/2 13-17s now aware – increase in awareness amongst 13-15s
  • Ads main source of awareness

Sources of information about sex/relationships

  • Most common source of information remains lessons at school, followed by mother and friends
  • Teacher/school nurse becoming more important source of contraceptive advice

– some evidence of increased/preparatory advice seeking

  • Most popular source of contraception is FPC/GP for girls and a vending machine or pub toilet for boys – similar to previous waves
  • 3/10 would recommend a friend goes to Sexwise for advice – 1/8 – 1/2 FPC/GP

Knowledge about sex/relationships

  • 41% 13-17s think over half young people have had sex by age 16 – gradual decline from 50% at benchmark
  • Increase in awareness of some less common contraceptive methods – respondents aware of TP ads tend to be more aware of less common methods – some increases in awareness of ‘lesser known’ STIs

Awareness/use of local contraceptive services

  • 2/3 13-17s aware of place could visit for advice – similar to previous – those aware of TP ads more likely to be aware
  • Half had received info about a place to go in their local area

Myth busting, attitudes and empowerment

  • Slight increases in knowledge since benchmark – boys, younger respondents and DEs least well informed
  • Those who have seen ads slightly more likely to know about some campaign messages – contraceptive availability – can get pregnant during period – can’t tell who has STIs by looking at them
  • Some evidence that those who have seen advertising are retaining positive messages – easier to talk about contraception and STIs – more positive about condoms – easier to make sure condoms are used properly

Research objectives


Evaluation Objectives

The aims of the evaluation are 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 are:

  • 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. Media activity put out prior to this wave of research included teen press and radio, ambient advertising as well as partnership activity (packaging and Superdrug.) 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 asses progress towards the objectives of the strategy as a whole.

The tracking survey asked questions on the following:

  • 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.


Research participants


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 (this wave), 10 and 11. Of the sample interviewed 22 girls (6%) had been or were pregnant before age 18. 13 boys (3.5%) admitted to having made a girl aged under 18 pregnant. In terms of sexual experience, 44% of the sample had had “willing sexual intercourse” with 56% of the sample never having experienced intercourse. In relation to level of deprivation of the research sample:

  • 50% lived in areas of high deprivation
  • 22% lived in areas of medium deprivation
  • 28% lived in areas of low deprivation
  • This compares to an England average of 33% high, 33% medium and 33% low).

Audience Summary





90% white and 10% non-white



13-21 yr old boys and girls, split into the following segments:

  • 13-15 years old
  • 16-17 years old
  • 18-21 years old

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. Analysis of the social class of the research sample showed that:

  • 29% were DE
  • 22% were C2
  • 29% were C1
  • 20% were AB


Data collection methodology


Other data collection methodology


This report is a summary document and provides limited information on methodology. However the methodology across waves is consistent.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.Weighting was applied to the data to ensure comparabilityand all data shown are weighted.

Sample size


733 people were interviewed

Detailed region



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