On "unacceptable" ad language

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Your June 9th RBR Reader Opinion Poll:   “How often do you turn down ads due to unacceptable content offers a number of choices … “less than 5X” … “more than 25X,” etc.”


How about Never?

Some of it ain’t so pretty (see below) … but we’ve even taken ads promoting abortion (a horror I detest!) … attacking the great and estimable Mario Cuomo (the man I most admire in public life!) … and advocating the destruction of Israel.  (We flew the Israeli flag over our station during the Six-Day War!)

But I’ve always believed the People are a better censor than I could ever aspire to be.

Our Mantra, our Everything … over the years has always been:  “Where Many Different Voices Are Heard in the Land.”

I’m afraid the same goes for commercials …

Some of it ain’t so pretty…but all of it needs to be protected.

Words that are sweet, awkward, horrific, barely audible, obscene, political, clumsy, uncomfortable, sexy, crude, inarticulate, cutting, just plain silly, x-rated, excessive, dangerous, insulting, serious, scintillating, disappointing,  discursive, provocative, disgusting, vulgar, disjointed, unfair, dismissive, inappropriate, stupid, uninhibited, risqué, droll, suggestive, dull, soothing, exhilarating, tormented, slanted, ferocious, coarse, halting, anti-religious, harmful to the community, revolting, humorous, improper, amoral, oneiric, dreary, dolorous, noble, brave, ignoble, resolute, doughty, biased, alliterative, inappropriate, immoral, sacrilegious, un-American, anarchistic, in error, sexual, inane, cutting edge, incendiary, not serious, appropriate, incorrect, lusty, offensive, insane, passionate, inspiring, beyond the pale, jumbled, florid, long-winded, loud, blunt, lyrical, meaningless, chaste, suggestive, charming, scary, moral, nutty, desperate, out of bounds, over the top, overblown, pedantic, pointed, pointless, popular, prurient,  pungent, rambling, raucous, religious, ribald, dissonant, rough, serene, sloppy, inartful, soaring, sublime, bawdy, subtle, thoughtful, indecent, truthful, unclear, nasty, unpleasant, unpopular, vague, witty are all part of the essential language of America.

The Language of America must be protected. 
All of it.  By all of us.

— Bill O’Shaughnessy, Whitney Media/WVOX and WVIP President


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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.