Media Contacts: Heidi Sterricker & Jackie Hribar
Guerilla marketing launches June 11 to coincide with start of summer vacation, teaches parents and teens to look for warning signs
Milwaukee (June 10, 2015) – In an effort to raise awareness and prevent cases of human trafficking in Milwaukee, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee (HTTFGM) along with Clear Channel Outdoor and Serve Marketing is launching a guerilla campaign that aims to keep children safe, happy and healthy this summer.
For one day only on Thursday, June 11 vending machines placed on high-traffic sidewalks around Milwaukee (corners of 27th Street and North Avenue, 12th Street and Historic Mitchell Street, and Kinnickinnic Avenue and Lincoln Avenue) will appear as though young teenagers are inside.
The message? Children should not be for sale.
“Children should be playing, learning and growing to be positive contributors to our community NOT victims of force, fraud, and/or coercion to perform sex acts for the love of money,” said Dana World-Patterson Chairperson of HTTFGM.
“Sadly, this is exactly how human traffickers see our children,” explains Serve Creative Director, Gary Mueller. “We hope that seeing kids in vending machines around the city will send a wake-up call to parents who still might not think that their kids are vulnerable to the growing sex trafficking problem in Milwaukee,” explains Serve Creative Director, Gary Mueller.
The initiative coincides with the start of summer vacation, a time when children are out of school and parents are working, which puts kids at greater risk of being targeted for sex trafficking.
In lieu of candy bars and soft drinks, the vending machines will distribute cards that direct parents and teens to the website www.UnluckyThirteen.org where they can learn the warning signs and get important tips on how to stay safe. The website was launched last year as part of the “Unlucky 13” campaign which draws its name from research released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) citing that 13 is the average age a person starts being trafficked for sex. Cases of human trafficking have been documented in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, according to former Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen.
The campaign will also come to life over the next month on 15 Milwaukee bus shelters through a partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor.
“Clear Channel Outdoor is proud to continue our support of the Greater Milwaukee Human Trafficking Task Force as part of our mission to make a difference in the community,” said David Ford, president Clear Channel Outdoor – Milwaukee. “We will feature this important message in bus shelters for the next month, and will keep working with the Task Force and Serve to continue spreading the word to protect people against sexual exploitation.”
For more information, visit www.UnluckyThirteen.org.
About Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee (HTTFGM)
The HTTFGM is the community response to eradicating human trafficking through coordinated services, education & awareness, and informed policy change.
The Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee first convened to draft recommendations aimed at improving the local response to human trafficking. Community feedback led to the formation of subcommittees to address four specific areas of concern: public awareness, service provision, education, and legislation. A final report of Task Force recommendations was presented to the County Board of Supervisors during the fall 2012.
The City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention and its Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are partners of the Task Force.
Serve is the country’s only all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency, whose mission is to give under-served charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. Since 2002, Serve volunteers have created behavior-changing public service campaigns for over 50 local and national non-profit causes from Shaken Baby Syndrome, statutory rape and teen homelessness to foster care, gun violence and teen pregnancy. Most recently, Serve’s work was honored by the White House for its role in helping reduce teen pregnancy in Milwaukee by 50 percent over the past six years. For more information, go to ServeMarketing.org.