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Press Release

‘Tis the Season to Reward TV’s Best Sponsors and Avoid the Worst

PTC Releases Annual Best and Worst TV Advertisers List in Time for Holiday Shopping

Release Date: 11/14/2018

LOS ANGELES (November 14, 2018) – The Parents Television Council has announced its 2018 picks for Best and Worst TV Advertisers, companies that show responsibility for their ad buys, and those whose ad dollars allow some of the most harmful TV shows to children to air. The PTC’s annual list is created to serve as a guide for holiday shoppers who want to reward the Best Advertisers and to avoid the Worst Advertisers.

“We know that holiday shoppers may not be thinking in terms of practical necessities like insurance, cheeseburgers, or toilet paper for their loved ones this holiday season, but they may want a new iPad, a Jos. A. Bank suit, or a cell phone. Regardless of how consumers may choose to use this list, our Best and Worst Advertisers will help holiday shoppers to vote with their wallets by rewarding companies who have endeavored to be good corporate citizens and to avoid companies that show little interest in or concern for the harmful media content they make possible with their ad dollars,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Advertisers are the key to whether TV shows live or die, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that ads that air in the context of family-friendly programming will actually perform better for the company.”

A 2016 study commissioned by Scripps Networks Interactive and UP TV reveals that “ads seen in TV-G rated programming score substantially higher in generating attention and purchase intent than commercials appearing in television shows with TV-14 and TV-MA ratings,” and that emotional engagement was 30 percent greater for ads appearing in TV-G shows compared to TV-14, and 173 percent greater in TV-G versus TV-MA. A meta-analysis of over 50 studies from Ohio State University found that ads that appear in the context of highly sexualized programs are often overlooked or ignored by the viewer. Research from Walmart has also shown an 18% improvement is shown in performance of an ad when in the context of positive versus negative programs.

“This list is the latest evidence of corporate America showing its values. Some companies such as Apple, Walmart, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola have demonstrated a commitment to avoiding harmful media content when buying ad time, and other companies like Subway, T-Mobile, Yum Brands, and Red Bull have consistently demonstrated their lack of values by supporting some of the worst content on TV that is marketed to children,” Winter continued.

“We commend Jos. A. Bank for making our list for the first time, and for being one of the Best Advertisers. When we contacted them with concerns about where their ads were appearing, the company corrected course immediately.

“We are glad to report that Apple is a Best Advertiser. In addition, the company stands out for offering robust parental controls in its products, and for rejecting pornographic content.

“Geico is a new addition to our Worst List. It is an odd business decision for Geico to allow its clever, family friendly ads to be associated with TV shows that market sexual content to children. We expect a whole lot more from Geico.

“We hope that shoppers will help to make it clear to the Worst Advertisers that they should support family-friendly TV programming. Families can send a powerful economic message to these companies this holiday season.”

PTC’s Best and Worst Advertisers of 2018 The list is arranged by industry, followed by the best and worst companies in each category:

Best: General Motors, Honda, Volvo
Worst: Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen

Fast Food/QSR
Best: McDonalds, Dairy Queen
Worst: Yum! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), Subway

Discount Retail
Best: Walmart
Worst: Target

Department/Clothing Stores
Best: TJX (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods), Jos. A. Bank
Worst: Kohl's, Limited Brands (Victoria's Secret)

Consumer Electronics
Best: Apple, Google
Worst: Samsung, Microsoft

Food and Beverage
Best: Coca-Cola, Hershey, Smuckers
Worst: Red Bull, Mars, Inc., Mondelez (Trident, Swedish Fish, Oreo, Nabisco, Honey Maid, etc.)

Cell Providers
Best: AT&T
Worst: T-Mobile

Consumer Products
Best: Procter & Gamble (Tide, Secret, Olay, Mr. Clean, etc.)
Worst: Unilever (Axe, Dove, Hellmann’s, Lipton, etc.)

Best: State Farm
Worst: Geico (Berkshire Hathaway)

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

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
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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