PTC releases top sponsors of TV’s worst shows

By on May, 12 2014 with Comment 1

PTC / Parents Television CouncilAs the TV upfronts get underway, The Parents Television Council released its new “Top Sponsors of Sexual Content, Suggestive Dialogue, Foul Language, and Violence” list, which feature the companies most closely associated with some of the most offensive content on broadcast television.

“Today we call for greater responsibility by the corporations whose media dollars underwrite some of the most harmful material on broadcast television. These companies have sponsored programs that routinely deliver explicit content such as jokes about incest, rape, pedophilia; glorify adultery; barrages of bleeped and partially-bleeped F-words; and intense, brutal violence, including cannibalism and fetishized butchery,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Corporate advertisers will be in New York City this week to begin negotiating their upfront advertising commitments to the broadcast networks. Beyond just attempting to reach a desired viewer demographic, both client and agency buyers should weigh carefully whether continued association with this kind of content will help or hurt their brands. Research conducted by the Association of National Advertisers found that when companies perceived to be family-oriented advertise on programs with explicit content, their brand equity can be hurt by as much as 30% when compared to advertising on family-oriented programs. We are asking these companies to reconsider the direction of their media spending and instead sponsor more family-oriented programming.

“The companies on our lists are the worst offenders in each category, and McDonalds, YUM! Brands, and Toyota Motor Sales Inc., in particular have been the top contributors to the most explicit broadcast TV shows.

“Particularly jarring is the direction that McDonalds’ advertising has taken in recent years, given its history as a family – and child-centric – brand. We’ve recently reached out to McDonalds to encourage the company to change course, as it used to be one of our ‘best’ advertisers. And perhaps not coincidentally, data shows the company to have had better earnings when it eschewed explicit TV programming.

“Family quality programming doesn’t just benefit families. It is also more profitable for the corporate sponsors who advertise on the broadcast networks. We hope that companies will choose wisely where to put their ad dollars for the benefit of families across this country,” Winter added.

The lists:
Sexual Content:

1.         McDonalds Corporation

2.         YUM! Brands

3.         Mars Inc.

4.         Colgate Palmolive Company

5.         Virgin Mobile Telecoms Limited

6.         Time Warner Inc.

7.         Sony Corp. of America

8.         Toyota Motor Sales Inc.

9.         Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

10.       Red Bull North America, Inc.

Suggestive Dialogue:

1.         McDonalds Corporation

2.         Subway Restaurants

3.         Target Corp.

4.         Kohl’s Corporation

5.         Sears, Roebuck and Co

6.         Unilever United States

7.         AT&T Corp.

8.         Verizon Communications

9.         Toyota Motor Sales Inc.

10.       Microsoft

Foul Language:

1.         McDonalds Corporation

2.         YUM! Brands

3.         L’Oreal USA, Inc.

4.         Verizon Communications

5.         Toyota Motor Sales Inc.

6.         Cablevision Systems Corporation

7.         Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)

8.         Capital One Financial Corporation

9.         H & R Block

10.       Hyundai

Violence:

1.         Subway Restaurants

2.         YUM! Brands

3.         Verizon Communications

4.         AT&T Corp.

5.         Sprint Corporation

6.         Burlington Industries, Inc.

7.         Daimler Chrysler Corporation

8.         Toyota Motor Sales Inc.

9.         General Motors Corp.

10.       Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)

RBR-TVBR observation: Why spend so much effort and time to just target the broadcast networks? Cable and syndication are presenting upfronts as well. Why do they get a “free pass,” considering much of their programming makes broadcast networks’ content look tame?

About The Author: Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

  1. Why give PTC so much coverage?