'$#*!' advertisers not worried over PTC warning

Predict show's quality, not title, will determine ad buys

NEW YORK -- If CBS' fall sitcom "$#*! My Dad Says" fails to score with advertisers, it won't be because of the condemnation of the Parents Television Council.

A day after the PTC slammed the show for its title and asked advertisers to stay away from it, industry marketers predicted "$#*!" will or won't sell based on how funny it is and not what any interest group says.

"If the show is good, folks will watch and advertisers will advertise," independent marketing professional David Maskin said. "If the show is as bad as its title, then advertisers will turn a deaf ear."

Former media buyer Linda Bonanno said that if any advertisers get scared off by the PTC campaign, others could be opportunistic and swoop in.

"Media buyers look to reach eyeballs for their clients," she said. "Someone else's primetime spot loss is another media buyer's gain."

In the case of an unproven show, that spot could come "at a bargain price," Bonanno added.

Greg Poulos, president of events agency Bluefin Prods., said the PTC campaign might create more buzz and provide free publicity for the William Shatner series.

"The show's target demographics of 19- to 35-somethings make the Grandpa Network immediately hipper," he said.

Another media buyer said clients haven't and won't pay much attention to the show's title. "It hasn't been a concern until now and won't be," the buyer said.

Twitter users Tuesday posted messages that made light of the showdown. "Lighten up people," one typical message read.

"Not a fan of PTC, but come on! Do we really have to stoop to this?" was one of the most negative takes on the show found among initial Twitter reactions. Others took the nonprofit group's complaint as a sign of quality. "If the PTC is already complaining, $#*! My Dad Says must be good," a user wrote.

A user of an online discussion forum for TV news was particularly clear about their dislike for the organization that promotes kids- and family-friendly programming. "PTC is full of $#*!," the person wrote. "I hope there is a follow-up article that lists the advertisers that will be supporting this show so I can go out and buy their products."

How much traction is the show getting on Madison Avenue?

"It is certainly not one of the most anticipated programs of the season," said one buyer who has seen the pilot. "It is another sitcom with an interesting title."