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The soft ratings performance of NBC’s The Playboy Club may be icing on the cake for the Parents Television Council, who is now targeting Unilever and Chrysler/Dodge for showing advertisements during Monday’s premiere telecast.
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu were some of the Unilever brands that were advertised during the episode. Members are being asked to call, send letters and make actual visits to Chrysler/Dodge dealerships calling out their support of The Playboy Club.
“The ratings for The Playboy Club speak for themselves. Clearly, Americans aren’t interested in tuning in to a show that amounts to little more than a chauvinistic advertisement for the Playboy brand. Advertisers should take a cue from viewers and find something else to support,” said PTC president Tim Winter.
“I think once they see the show and where future episodes can go, there’s really nothing to be concerned about,” Playboy Club executive producer Chad Hodge told The Hollywood Reporter in response to complaints about the show.
On Monday, The Playboy Club delivered a weak 5 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating in the ad-coveted 18-49 demographic at 10 p.m. following a soft lead-in with a two-hour premiere of The Sing-Off.
Additionally, the PTC is reaching out to all companies that took part in the series and before the show even premiered on NBC, the organization issued a letter to advertisers asking them not to buy ad time because of the drama’s objectification of women.
The NBC series has had its critics. “Clearly The Playboy Club is not going to be accurate. It was the tackiest place on earth. It was not glamorous at all,” said women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem, who once worked undercover at the New York City nightclub to report on its conditions said earlier this summer.
In mid-June, a Utah television station, KSL-TV, decided to opt out of airing the controversial show because of objectionable content. “The Playboy brand is known internationally,” KSL president and CEO Mark Willes said in a statement. “Everyone is clear what it stands for. We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.”
NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt didn’t seem concerned, telling THR, “They have to do what they have to do. If I thought it was inappropriate to the brand, I wouldn’t put it on. This affiliate does not [carry] Saturday Night Live.”
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