NEW YORK, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Candie's Foundation, a leader in teen pregnancy prevention announced today that it is changing its name to TheNext.Org following its separation from Iconix Brand Group. For the past 15 years, The Candie's Foundation has been at the forefront of educating teens about pregnancy prevention. As part of the rebranding initiative and coinciding with the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in May, TheNext.Org is producing a series of multi-media activations. TheNext.Org will continue the mission to educate America's youth about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy.
Neil Cole will maintain his role as Founder and Chairman of the Board of TheNext.Org. The foundation will be managed by executives Dari Marder and Maria Dolgetta who created, launched and maintained The Candie's Foundation under the Iconix Brand Group's philanthropic umbrella instituted by Cole. Mr. Cole and his foundation colleagues are no longer associated with Iconix but remain passionate about raising awareness and decreasing the teen pregnancy rate in the United States.
The Candie's Foundation launched in 2001 to address the epidemic of teen pregnancy in the United States, which had the second highest rate in the industrialized world of teens getting pregnant with over 750,000 teens becoming pregnant each year. At the time, 4 in 10 girls in the U.S. got pregnant at least once by age 20. Through over a decade of celebrity fueled public service announcements (PSA's) campaigns, benefit concerts, PR initiatives and events, The Foundation has helped raise awareness, share information and start conversations about prevention. The Foundation's efforts have helped contribute to the historic decline in teen pregnancy and birth rates over the past two decades and reduce the teen pregnancy rate in America. Since peaking in 1991, the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. has declined by 55%. Still, nearly 1 in 4 teens gets pregnant by age 20 and the U.S. teen birth rate remains higher than in other comparable nations.
Neil Cole, Founder, explains, "As we continue our important longstanding work in educating teens about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy, we recognize the need to extend our programs and to put an emphasis on expanding our digital footprint and strategic partnerships."
TheNext.Org will create a national dialogue on May 4th, The National Day To Prevent Teen Pregnancy with celebrity supporters and social media influencers which will result in an estimated reach of over 20 million. The foundation has also announced an Advisory Board comprised of experts, influencers, celebrities and real teen moms to help guide its efforts and to create original content. Maci Bookout from MTV's Teen Mom and Mikey Murphy, a YouTube creator are the first to be announced in a series to the Advisory Board. Maci and Mikey's reach is over 3.5 million people through their combined social media platforms. In addition, the foundation is launching an innovative platform with Big Boots, a digital studio later this year.
"Neil Cole and his team have worked consistently over the past 15 years to focus the nation's attention on the importance of preventing teen pregnancy," said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "We welcome their continued efforts because as Neil and his team have long recognized, we cannot mistake progress for victory. We need to continue our efforts to ensure that all young people have the power to decide their own futures."
Over the past 15 years, The Candie's Foundation has enlisted the biggest names in Hollywood and influencers across social media to target teens with its message. Celebrity supporters have included; Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Jenny McCarthy, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Lea Michele, Hilary Duff, Bella Thorne, Fergie, Vanessa Hudgens, Usher, Maci Bookout and many others through the years.
In addition, The Foundation has made billions of media impressions with its innovative print, TV, and digital PSA's starring Bristol Palin, Ciara, Jenny McCarthy and others. The forward thinking PSA's have been featured in the national media via Foundation partners such as Conde Nast, Hearst Corporation, Viacom, Yahoo, Instagram and others which brought much needed attention to this cause, while creating a national dialogue on the subject. Each year, millions of teens were exposed to The Foundation's message, which encouraged them to delay pregnancy and showed the harsh realities of teen parenthood.
The website, www.thenext.org and all the social media channels including; Facebook, Instagram Snapchat, and Twitter will launch with new creative.
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