PTC warns advertisers over '$#*! My Dad Says'
Group sends letters to 300 marketers about CBS comedy
The Parents Television Council is ramping up its campaign against the CBS sitcom "$#*! My Dad Says," sending letters to 300 advertisers.
The PTC is urging marketers to not sponsor the show "unless they wish to associate their hard-earned brands with excrement."
"The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, yet CBS decided to use the 's-word' in the title of this show, putting its blatant contempt for children and families front and center," PTC president Tim Winter said. "Unless or until CBS chooses a different title for this program, we are urging advertisers to avoid sponsoring such an abomination purported to be lighthearted fun. The advertisers have two options: Either they can be complicit in the effort to serve up excrement in front of children and families, or they can choose not to associate their products and services with excrement."
CBS has said that the content of the show, which will air at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays in the fall, will not be profane in any way.
"The program is inspired by the wildly popular Twitter phenomenon, which now has more than 1.5 million followers and has spawned a best-selling book of the same name," the network said Monday. "It will in no way be indecent and will adhere to all CBS standards."
But Winter's objection to the title remains.
"The premise of the show offers potential for good entertainment," Winter said. "The question is why CBS feels the need to shove harsh profanity into the faces of Americans through the program's title. Their reliance on symbols as a veil is feeble at best. Beyond a port-a-potty, a laxative or a roll of toilet paper, most corporations don't want their customers to associate their products or services with excrement."
The PTC plans to inform its members what advertisers fail to comply with its request and, if the organization's pattern holds, urge them to boycott their products.
The PTC's outcry is highly unlikely to convince CBS to change course. The parenting organization has previously protested an array of broadcast series without notable impact, including CBS' own "Big Brother," "Without a Trace," "Survivor" and "Dexter" (when CBS aired repeats of the Showtime series during the writers' strike).
Among advertisers, certain brands could be skittish about the series, particularly at first, though CBS family comedies remain a strong draw. CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler told reporters at the TCA press tour that there have been no concerns from advertisers about the show's title.
"Certain marketers won't have a problem with it and some may be a little bit skittish," said Brad Adgate, senior vp of media at Horizon Research, when the title was unveiled. "Every marketer has a different threshold. I don't think they would have as much a problem with that than they would have with content, like gratuitous sex or violence."
"$#*! My Dad Says" is based on the hit Twitter feed "Shit My Dad Says." Star William Shatner told reporters last week at the TCA press tour that he would prefer CBS use the original title.
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