PTC Targets Circuit City

The Parents Television Council shareholder-meeting road show was in Richmond, Va., Tuesday to try to get Circuit City Stores Inc. to pull its ads from TV shows that it said contain "graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language."

Citing Fear Factor as well as the critically acclaimed C.S.I., The Shield, and N.Y.P.D. Blue," PTC Research and Publications Director Melissa Caldwell scolded executives at a Circuit City shareholders meeting Tuesday morning in Richmond: "It is evident to me and to the PTC's 860,000 members that Circuit City does not have advertising guidelines in place to keep its name off of shows that consistently scrape the bottom of the barrel for program content."

Caldwell did not mention that while scraping that barrel, N.Y.P.D. Blue., for instance, has come up with over 20 Emmy Awards and C.S.I. with more viewers/fans than almost any other show on TV.

The council gave the company until July 7 to say whether it will "continue to pay for the 'cultural sewage' that is broadcast into our homes on a nightly basis."

PTC routinely sends representatives to shareholder's meetings to try to "shame" companies into yanking ads by reading graphic show descriptions. Tuesday's involved a violent rape on C.S.I.

So far this year, PTC has made appearances at meetings of JC Penney (to praise, not bury), Target, Gap, Capital One, Circuit City, Yum Brands, Viacom (to complain about indecency), and Colgate Palmolive.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.