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The Florida Family Association says its campaign to protect parents and their children from sex and violence on television and in magazines could become harder under the coming Barack Obama administration.
The association’s efforts to encourage companies that advertise on racy shows to pull their support has influenced hundreds of program sponsors.
In the past, the group also has had help from the Federal Communications Commission’s indecency code, but that may change.
“In all likelihood a Barack Obama administration will cease to enforce the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) indecency code after Obama takes office,” the organization said in a report today.
“It would be difficult to imagine Obama’s administration going after MTV (owned by CBS) who produced an hour-long special promoting Barack,” the organization said.
“With the absence of concern about being charged with hefty FCC fines, some networks may be more inclined to push the limits. That means Florida Family Association’s ability to influence companies to pull their advertising dollars off of inappropriate shows will provide the only incentive for these networks to avoid more explicit programming.
“There will be many challenges during the next four years. We are ready for the challenge and prepared to respond,” the group said.
Past efforts have proven very successful, the association said.
“Corporate America continues to be overwhelmingly responsible regarding the shows they support with their advertising dollars,” the association confirmed.
Recent targets have included the sponsors of television shows such as “Dirt,” “Nip Tuck,” “Girls Next Door,” “True Holleywood Story Hugh Hefner Centerfolds,” “Queer as Folk,” “TransAmerican Love Story” and “Adam & Steve.”
The corporate responses, in response letters sent to FFA, have been positive:
- AMERICAN AIRLINES: “Our advertisement (on Queer as Folk) ran in error. It has long been our policy not to advertise on programs with strong violence or sexual content. The promotion is over, and the ads are no longer being aired. Our longtime advertising agency is aware of this policy, and we have taken appropriate steps to ensure compliance with our policies. We regret this mistake,” wrote Gerard Arpey, chairman.
- PAPA JOHN’S: “We have investigated this situation and want you to know that the spots that aired during this program were done so inadvertently. Papa John’s has an extensive list of ‘do not buy’ programs based on content, and ‘Playboy’s Girls Next Door’ was included on that list. Papa John’s and our national buying agency have taken additional measures to ensure networks are aware of our restricted guidelines so this does not happen again,” said president William Van Epps.
- HUNGRY MAN: “We discovered the commercial was an error on the part of the local station. The Girls Next Door, is not, nor has ever been, a program purchased by Pinnacle Foods Group LLC and the station has been reprimanded for placing a Hungry Man commercial in this show,” said Donna Yopconka, Consumer Insights Center manager.
- MENTOS: “Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding Mentos advertising (on Nip Tuck.) We have instructed our media agency to avoid the particular programming that you brought to our attention,” wrote Gabby S., Marketing Department.
“Florida Family Association’s long-term efforts to communicate with companies regarding their advertising support for irresponsible television shows recently influenced MTV to completely remove the ‘Bi-Sexual Dating Show A Shot at Love’ with Tila Tequila,” the association said.
The association was founded in 1987 by David Caton, who was described by American Family Association president Don Wildmon as the “quarterback” of pro-family groups that called on Circle K to abandon the porn magazine business in its convenience stores.