Look Who’s Sponsoring Smutty TV!

family watching TVAccording to a national medial watchdog group, McDonald’s, Kohl’s, Sears and Target are among the companies who are sponsoring some of the raunchiest shows on television today.

The Parents Television Council (PTC) has just released its annual report, “Top Sponsors of Sexual Content, Suggestive Dialogue, Foul Language, and Violence” which reveals that many of the country’s best-known companies are paying for shows that are full of smut, violence, profane language and even worse.

“Today we call for greater responsibility by the corporations whose media dollars underwrite some of the most harmful material on broadcast television. These companies have sponsored programs that routinely deliver explicit content such as jokes about incest, rape, pedophilia; glorify adultery; barrages of bleeped and partially-bleeped F-words; and intense, brutal violence, including cannibalism and fetishized butchery,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

This week, corporate advertisers will be in New York City to begin negotiating their advertising commitments to the broadcast networks and the PTC is advising them to do more than just try to reach a desired demographic but to “weigh carefully whether continued association with this kind of content will help or hurt their brands.”

Research by the Association of National Advertisers found that when companies perceived to be family-oriented advertise on programs with explicit content, their brand equity can be hurt by as much as 30% when compared to advertising on family-oriented programs.

mcdonalds logoFor this reason, the PTC is asking these corporations to reconsider the direction of their media spending and opt to spend their dollars on more family-oriented programming.

Surprisingly, one of the worst offenders is the so-called family-friendly McDonald’s.

“Particularly jarring is the direction that McDonalds’ advertising has taken in recent years, given its history as a family – and child-centric – brand,” Winter writes.

“We’ve recently reached out to McDonalds to encourage the company to change course, as it used to be one of our ‘best’ advertisers. And perhaps not coincidentally, data shows the company to have had better earnings when it eschewed explicit TV programming.

Family quality programming doesn’t just benefit families, he says. It also means more profits for the corporate sponsors.

“We hope that companies will choose wisely where to put their ad dollars for the benefit of families across this country,” Winter added.

The following lists feature companies that most frequently sponsor some of the most offensive content on broadcast television.

Sexual Content:

1.    McDonalds Corporation
2.    YUM! Brands
3.    Mars Inc.
4.    Colgate Palmolive Company
5.    Virgin Mobile Telecoms Limited
6.    Time Warner Inc.
7.    Sony Corp. of America
8.    Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
9.    Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
10.    Red Bull North America, Inc.

Suggestive (Sexual) Dialogue:

1.    McDonalds Corporation
2.    Subway Restaurants
3.    Target Corp.
4.    Kohl’s Corporation
5.    Sears, Roebuck and Co
6.    Unilever United States
7.    AT&T Corp.
8.    Verizon Communications
9.    Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
10.    Microsoft

Foul Language:

1.    McDonalds Corporation
2.    YUM! Brands
3.    L’Oreal USA, Inc.
4.    Verizon Communications
5.    Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
6.    Cablevision Systems Corporation
7.    Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)
8.    Capital One Financial Corporation
9.    H & R Block
10.    Hyundai


1.    Subway Restaurants
2.    YUM! Brands
3.    Verizon Communications
4.    AT&T Corp.
5.    Sprint Corporation
6.    Burlington Industries, Inc.
7.    Daimler Chrysler Corporation
8.    Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
9.    General Motors Corp.
10.  Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)

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