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Press Release

PTC Calls Out McDonald’s for Sponsoring VH1’s “Dating Naked”

PTC Recommends Wendy’s to Families for Quick-Service Dining

By: Kelly Oliver

Release Date: 7/30/2014

LOS ANGELES (July 30, 2014) – The Parents Television Council is calling on McDonald’s to reconsider its sponsorship of VH1’s “Dating Naked,” a reality show with contestants who date each other in the nude, citing the McDonald’s CEO’s desire to become a “more trusted and respected brand.” McDonald’s advertisements were found on the July 17th premiere episode and nearly all of the repeat airings of that episode.

“McDonald’s is admittedly struggling with its brand image, yet the Happy Meal company executives think it appropriate to sponsor naked-dating on television. As part of its marketing review, the folks in Oak Brook need to hire Captain Obvious. The title alone should put the program on the company’s do-not-buy list. We urge McDonald’s to reconsider its sponsorship of any and all future episodes of this show,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

According to the Chicago Business Journal , McDonald’s will be re-evaluating its marketing strategy due to poor sales. McDonald’s “will try to become a ‘more trusted and respected brand,’ in the words of CEO Don Thompson, by re-evaluating its customer service, menu, and marketing practices.”

“The juxtaposition of this historically family brand with such explicit content is shocking. Unless and until McDonald’s returns to being a responsible advertiser, we would advise consumers to take their business to competitors whose values more closely reflect their own. Wendy’s, for example, has consistently matched its positive brand image with responsible media-buying standards. And they are quickly catching up with McDonald’s in terms of sales, while returning higher value to shareholders,” Winter said.

Notably, the PTC earlier this year called on McDonald’s to change its advertising practices, reported that they are among the worst in the country. The company’s ads often sponsor violent or sexually graphic television programming, despite that in previous years it was among the PTC’s “best” advertisers.

“[I]t is not a coincidence that at the same time McDonald’s abandoned its family focus, sales started to decline,” said Winter in an April letter to Mr. Thompson.

The PTC pre-emptively warned advertisers about “Dating Naked,” saying in a statement that, “We will be holding publicly to account any companies and products that choose to advertise on the premiere of this program and on any subsequent episodes.”

The Parents Television Council® ( is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children.

The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at

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To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at