WASHINGTON, DC—The Washington, DC office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has been awarded a one year, six-figure contract from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to provide continued support for Dating Matters, an initiative that promotes healthy relationships among youth in high-risk urban communities.

According to Jennifer Wayman, executive vice president and group director of Ogilvy Washington's social marketing practice, "Teen dating violence continues to be a serious and complex issue that often starts at an early age, with implications that can last a lifetime. Research shows that 25 percent of teens report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a dating partner annually.”

The communications program will complement other Dating Matters program elements to bridge the gap between teens' knowledge of healthy relationship behaviors and practicing them. Initially, the campaign will be focused on and developed for four urban communities, with the intent of a national roll-out once this pilot program is evaluated and deemed effective.