PTC gave a shout-out to chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley on the basis of reports it had joined GM and Taco Bell in deciding not to advertise in MTV's controversial series, Skins, which depicts drug and sexual habits of teens.
"We applaud Wrigley for making the responsible decision to separate its brand from a show that glorifies teen sex, teen drug use and teen alcohol abuse," said PTC President Time Winter in a statement. "At the end of the day, it is the flow of advertising dollars - or lack thereof - that decides which programs are delivered into the nation's living rooms, and we thank Wrigley for making a socially responsible decision."
"Our U.S. business has pulled the advertising from those slots [in 'Skins']," said Wrigley spokesman Andy Pharoah. "The original placement was part of a general media buy." Asked if it was pressure from PTC that prompted the move, he said: "Our decision was based on a judgment on program content following our own review." PTC said Friday GM had put the show on its "do not buy" list, following Taco Bell's decision to do so the day before.
MTV's Skins is a remake of a British series about a group of teens. PTC began calling MTV out about the show even before it aired, calling it "the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen."
"We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards," MTV told the Associated Press. "We are confident that the episodes of 'Skins' will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers."
The show debuted Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. with the biggest audience of people 12-34 in the history of an MTV series launch. Viacom calls it "a key priority" in its ramp-up of scripted programming.
Next up For PTC on the advertiser list is Subway, which the group said it began contacting Saturday.
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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.