Watchdog continues to promote NBC Playboy program


Is the content of NBC’s “The Playboy Club” a television version of the content of Playboy Magazine? We strongly doubt it. Is there a relationship between the two? Well, duh, of course there is. The fact that the TV show and the magazine did some cross promotion has Parents Television Council in a fresh tizzy, and PTC has stayed true to form and kicked in some fresh, free promo for the duo.

PTC complains that the show and the magazine were advertised as completely unrelated, but the fact that a star of the show is appearing on the cover of the Playboy October issue, and that a magazine discount was timed to coincide with the program’s opening give lie to that claim.

PTC president Tim Winter said, “NBC fooled no one but themselves when they asserted that ‘The Playboy Club’ was unrelated to the porn industry and Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine. The network’s hypocrisy was most recently exposed this week when we found out Playboy magazine would help promote ‘The Playboy Club’ and would even feature one of the actresses on the cover. This follows earlier reports that performers were required to sign nudity waivers.”

Winter concluded, “Regardless of whether the content in ‘The Playboy Club’ premiere is legally indecent, those responsible for creating and distributing it are doing their part to mainstream pornography by promoting the Playboy brand. America will know  the names of those corporations that choose to sponsor this program, and they will be called to account.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We’d guess that if the decency watchdogs weren’t barking about this particular issue, they’d find something else to bark about – it’s been going on all summer. And we’ll say it again – every time they bark, they make it that much less likely the show will fail on its own merits.

They are telling how every many Americans they reach that this is some controversial stuff. Many will check it out who otherwise would not have bothered.

Perhaps the watchdogs will be able to shame advertisers away from the program. They did claim success in chasing MTV’s “Skins” into oblivion in part by depriving the program of advertisers.

However, you have to wonder how much the “Skins” death had to do with failing to catch on with its target audience. A promo campaign can only encourage sampling. It can’t create liking. PTC and others point those with a taste for racy programming right where to go – and in that, they are almost certainly doing the racy programs a favor.