Decency watchdog praises some television advertisers, scolds others


Parents Television Council is hoping that its new Best and Worst advertiser lists will influence the holiday gift-giving decisions of parents everywhere, rewarding those sponsoring family-friendly programs and withholding support for those underwriting programs with harsh language or risqué content.

PTC President Tim Winter explained, “The Parents Television Council is urging holiday shoppers to put their money where their values are and consider shopping at ‘best list’ stores like Walmart, Sears and Kmart rather than at ‘worst list’ stores like Macy’s. Our list clearly shows that some corporations are committed to sponsoring television content that is consistent with their corporate image. Others apparently don’t hold such a commitment and help to underwrite some of the most sexually-charged, profanity-laced and violence-ridden content on TV.”

Winter continued, “As the TV landscape continues to change, one thing is certain: Content won’t get to consumers unless advertisers help to underwrite its delivery. At the end of the day, TV sponsors can make the difference between positive, family-friendly programming reaching American viewers or being squeezed out of TV lineups by graphic content that objectifies young girls and glamorizes violence. There’s no better time for members of the public to show goodwill to companies who support positive programming and family values. We’re asking for your help to make sure companies on the worst advertisers list also hear that message loud and clear.”

The lists were based on programming and advertising aired between 9/15/09 and 5/15/10.

From PTC, here are the best advertisers:

1. J.M. Smucker Company (Smucker’s jam, jelly and preserves, Pillsbury, Folgers, Crisco)

2. Kraft Foods, Inc. (Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Maxwell House, Nabisco, Oreo)

3. The Coca Cola Company (Fuze, Gold Peak tea, Glaceau vitamin water, Minute Maid, Powerade)

4. General Mills (Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Hamburger Helper)

5. State Farm Insurance

6. Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)

7. Procter & Gamble (Pantene, Gillette, Olay, Old Spice, Ivory, Cover Girl, Febreze, Swiffer, Pampers)

8. Walmart

9. The Clorox Company (Armor All, Fresh Step, Pine-Sol, Kingsford, Hidden Valley)

10. Sears Holdings Corporation (Sears & Kmart stores, Craftsman, Kenmore, Die Hard, Land’s End)

And the worst:

1. YUM! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers)

2. Unilever USA (Bertolli, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Slim-Fast, Axe, Dove)

3. CKE Restaurants (Hardees, Carl’s Jr. , La Salsa, Green Burrito)

4. Combe Incorporated (Just for Men, Aqua Velva, Cepacol, Odor Eaters)

5. AAMCO Transmissions Inc.

6. Verizon Communications

7. AT&T

8. General Motors (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac)

9. Burger King

10. Macy’s

RBR-TVBR observation: We are not fans of PTC, but we have no complaint when they pursue tactics such as this that do not call for restrictions on broadcast speech. We would only note that PTC’s threshold of offensiveness may be set somewhat lower than that of the average American citizen in the year 2010, and would therefore recommend that people make up their own minds about these advertisers.