Watchdog names its best and worst advertisers


Parents Television Council awards green lights to television shows it likes, and red lights to those it doesn't. Parents are urged to direct their children to the green side of the equation. The indecency watchdog watches more than the programs, though. It also keeps tabs on who advertises where, and it has put out its latest list of the greenest and reddest advertisers.

"Television sponsors contribute to the television culture, either in a positive or negative way, by what programs they choose to support with their advertising dollars," said PTC's Tim Winter. "We applaud those on our best list because they are contributing to the well-being of millions of families by choosing to be responsible sponsors."

He contrasted the positive advertisers with those supporting other shows which he said contain a litany of offensive material, including show that "…depict sadistic torture and drug use, discuss themes of bestiality, oral sex, and other sexually graphic dialogue, describe horrific crimes against children, and use foul language." Procter & Gamble and Disney led the green list; Toyota and General Motors were tops on the red.

SmartMedia observation: We are dead against censorship, and have used this space to document the incredible difficulty administering a regulatory regime that must dwell in very gray areas in First Amendment territory. However, we have no objection at all when a watchdog uses its platform to shine its spotlight on what it considers to be good and bad behavior. This is a completely appropriate use of the First Amendment by PTC.

PTC top ten lists

1.Procter & Gamble
2 Walt Disney Co.
3. Ford Motor Company
4. Unilever United States
5. Viacom, Inc.
6. McDonald's Corporation
7. Johnson & Johnson
8. Schering-Plough Corporation [Products include: Afrin, Claritin, Nasonex, Dr. Scholls, Lotrimin]
9. Coca-Cola Company
10. General Mills, Inc.
Source: Parents Television Council

1. Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
2. General Motors Corp.
3. Limited Brands, Inc.
4. Payless Shoe Source
5. Vonage Marketing, Inc.
6. Volkswagen of America
7. Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants [Parent company of: Dunkin' Donuts]
8. Reckitt Benckiser PLC [Products include: Clearasil, Lysol, Spray and Wash, Air Wick, Woolite, Jet Dry, Glass Plus, Electrasol, Easy Off]
9. GEICO, Inc.
10. Bayer Corp.