• “Nothing Objectionable” on TV, Says Network Boss

    by  • May 18, 2017 • Advertiser Accountability, Broadcast Decency, Cable Choice, NBC, Profanity, Sex, Streaming, Television, Violence • 0 Comments

    TV vulgar

    Network bosses are desperate to keep ad dollars on TV, but they’re promising far more than they can deliver – especially in terms of “objectionable” content.

    With the rise in popularity of “streaming” services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, and ever-more people finding entertainment online rather than in front of the TV — and broadcast and cable TV networks are worried. More and more businesses are placing their ads on the internet, rather than buying commercial time on TV. As revealed by the Los Angeles Times, back in 2012, advertisers spent $36 billion in online ads, while this year, the total is expected to reach $83 billion. Online sources also attract more younger viewers, a prime targetp for advertisers.

    So it’s only natural that TV executives would fight back in trying to keep ad dollars on TV. One way network bosses tell businesses that TV ads are still superior is by reminding advertisers that TV can still attract 10 million or more viewers to a single program. And, when some businesses discovered that their ads have been placed in close proximity to offensive videos, hate speech, and terrorist propaganda, they were furious at having their brand names associated with such negative content. Recently, several businesses, including Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and JPMorgan Chase & Co. pulled their advertising from YouTube.

    However, in trying to lure in advertisers, several TV executives have gone overboard in stating how squeaky-clean TV is. NBCUniversal Ad Sales Chairman Linda Yaccarino recently said, “You never have to worry about your brand showing up next to something objectionable,” Turner President David Levy, who oversees Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and other cable networks claimed, “We have premium content that can be trusted.”

    Really? So there’s “nothing objectionable” in shows like The Blacklist, with its scenes of graphic torture; Law & Order: SVU, an entire program devoted to rapists and child molesters; or The Carmichael Show, which has promised to use the n-word in upcoming episodes?  For that matter, ask anyone who lives in the American South if there’s “nothing objectionable” about NBC’s “comedy” Trial & Error.

    The same goes for Turner, with the TBS “family comedy” The Detour’s drug use, profanity, and unbelievably graphic sex talk in front of young children.

    Only in the world of TV network executives, where apparently every advertiser and viewer in America shares their tunnel-vision view of race, torture, and sexual content involving children, is there “nothing objectionable” to be found on TV.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

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