Advertisers Shy Away from “Dirty Dozen” Shows

by Ed Vitagliano

(AgapePress) – There are said to be places that even angels fear to tread. According to Media Life, there are also shows on which advertisers fear to advertise.

The magazine listed its “dirty dozen” shows which media buyers said they avoid most often. They include some programs that several pro-family groups have criticized most energetically, such as Howard Stern (on both E! and CBS), South Park (Comedy Central), Temptation Island (Fox), Jackass (MTV), Jerry Springer (syndicated), and Ally McBeal (Fox).

One media buyer told Media Life that most companies really do pay attention to what consumers think — especially if that consumer is complaining about seeing an advertiser sponsor a particularly objectionable show.

“It's remarkable how much influence a letter writer can have on marketing decisions. One letter to the right person can lead to a note saying, ‘Take care of this problem,'” he said. “It's because clients are in such highly competitive environments. If you anger enough customers, it could make a difference.”

Since advertisers want to avoid offending customers, many companies often try their best to avoid controversy ahead of time. Roy Rothstein, an executive at Zenith Media, explained that his company's clients “don't want to get letters from consumers. We try to avoid anything that will create confrontation so we're cognizant of what's going on and get enough advance notice.”

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

WWF Continues Assault on Media Watchdog Group

by Bill Fancher

WASHINGTON, DC (AgapePress) – The World Wrestling Federation and its fans are demonstrating toward a pro-family organization the same angry and violent attitude prevalent in its shows.

Brent Bozell’s Parents Television Council complained about the excessive language and violence in the WWF’s Smackdown! program.

As a result, 40 sponsors withheld or cancelled their support of the show and its ratings numbers and revenues have fallen off sharply. Bozell says that’s when the personal attacks began.

“They ridiculed us,” Bozell says. “They even started a character on the show patterned after me. They did everything possible — their fans started sending all sorts of e-mails to our organization, sabotaging our systems; they then started with the death threats against various people with the organization; the FBI was brought into it.”

Bozell would not back down so Vince McMahon and the WWF are suing the Council for several million dollars, claiming the organization hindered its ability to engage in commerce.

Frequent sponsors of the violent and sexually explicit Smackdown! program include DreamWorks, Honda, Block Buster, Western Union, and RC Cola.

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