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Monday, June 18, 2007

CBS & Fox Want You Knocked Up

posted by on June 18 at 15:04 PM

CBS and Fox are refusing to air an advertisement for Trojan condoms.

The—sigh—“controversial” ad shows a bunch of pigs in a bar trying to pick up women without success. The ad wasn’t rejected for being unrealistic (pigs successfully pick women up in bars all the time), but because after one of the pigs goes to the bathroom and purchases a condom he’s is magically transformed into a hot dude. That’s not the issue either—CBS and Fox put plenty of hot dudes on television. When the hot dude returns to the bar a woman that rejected his pig incarnation smiles at his hot dude incarnation. But wait, that’s not the problem either. The problem, it seem, is that something is missing from the tag line…

“Evolve. Use a condom every time.”

Use a condom every time—isn’t that the safe sex message we’ve all been hammering away at for the last twenty fucking years? Isn’t that what condoms are all about? Why would they reject the ad?

Because the tag line doesn’t mention disease prevention… and impressionable CBS and Fox viewers might get the impression that you can prevent something else by using a condom.

Says the NYT

[The pigs did not fly at two of the four networks where Trojan tried to place the ad.

Fox and CBS both rejected the commercial. Both had accepted Trojan’s previous campaign, which urged condom use because of the possibility that a partner might be H.I.V.-positive, perhaps unknowingly. A 2001 report about condom advertising by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, “Some networks draw a strong line between messages about disease prevention—which may be allowed—and those about pregnancy prevention, which may be considered controversial for religious and moral reasons.”

Representatives for both Fox and CBS confirmed that they had refused the ads, but declined to comment further.

In a written response to Trojan, though, Fox said that it had rejected the spot because, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.”

CBS and Fox ran a previous Trojan ad that emphasized the use of condoms with people whose health you might be unsure about, i.e. casual sex partners. Which means preventing disease with condoms is fine with CBS and Fox, and so is casual sex. If the hot dude returned to the bar and said, “I wanna fuck you, lady, but you might have the AIDS, so I bought myself some condoms,” that would have been fine. Or the tag line had read, “You’ve got a condom—because you never know what she’s got,” that would have been fine.

But because the ad is ambiguous about just what the guy might be using that condom for… it’s not okay. Because it might piss off the pope. Because preventing disease transmission during casual sex is fine, preventing pregnancy during casual sex is not.

Holy shit.

You know, Knocked Up is a cute movie, it was funny and all, but do we really want strangers knocking each other up? It seems to me that if you don’t wanna get HIV from a stranger you probably don’t wanna get KID from that person either.

And I’m sure the execs at CBS and Fox agree with me—I’m sure that they use condoms with their casual sex partners, and encourage their privileged children to do the same. This isn’t about the execs CBS and Fox believing condoms should never be used to prevent pregnancy, but CBS and Fox being terrified of the knuckle-dragging idiots on the religious right who think birth control is the moral equivalent of abortion.

Or maybe the problem was Trojans use of the word “evolve.” Right-wing religious idiots have a problem with that too.

RSS icon Comments


I was so sure it was the use of "evolve."

Posted by Gloria | June 18, 2007 3:12 PM

"Evolve" ! Nicely played Trojan.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 18, 2007 3:13 PM

Hey did you notice the new abstinence campaign being advertised by the State of Washington? Looks like a waste of money to me:

Posted by Tiffany | June 18, 2007 3:21 PM

My god. Why are the networks still afraid of these religious conservative groups? Their boycotts are never effective, and they've proven themselves to be toothless, little barking dogs. Isn't there a form letter networks can send to these freaks ("we here at CBS are decdicated to quality, family programming...understand concerns...respect values...but ultamately feel..."etc.) and just get on with business as usual?

Posted by Dougsf | June 18, 2007 3:26 PM

Which would offend the pope more, being fucked bareback or with a condom?

Posted by monkey | June 18, 2007 3:50 PM

wait and cbs owns mtv and logo. mtv especially is always trying to be super pro-condom. i guess when the tweens turn into geezers its no longer ok.

Posted by and | June 18, 2007 4:02 PM

Now what will the kids watching fox and cbs do when they are having sex!!! My God!!

Who cares about a commercial. They need to make boxes of rubbers look like baseball cards, then kids won't be embarrased buying them.

Posted by ecce homo | June 18, 2007 4:06 PM

Nothing says moral Christianity like pregnant underage teens in rural communities.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2007 4:10 PM

Another "offense possibility" is that the use of swine offends Muslims. We don't know what the offense was, only what Trojan speculated it was.

Either way, it was stupid of the network.

Posted by Rev. George | June 18, 2007 4:13 PM


You live in a rural community and know lots of pregnant underage teens? Here I thought you were just another seattle transplant hipping to be square.

Now git to dem chores...

Posted by ecce homo | June 18, 2007 4:14 PM

Hey, now, this is just more of your big city bias against rural small towns. If it weren't for unprotected sex leading to unplanned pregnancies among bored, small town kids, thus destroying them economically, they'd all graduate from high school, go on to college, and leave their small towns forever. Small town America would be depopulated in a generation, as educated young men and women delayed starting families until they were ready for them.

For further refrence, listen to "The River," by Bruce Springsteen.

Posted by Gitai | June 18, 2007 4:20 PM

@10 I grew up in a small, rural community and knew lots of pregnant teens. When my family moved there in 1975, any girl that got pregnant was expelled from school. My father sued the school district, and they responded by setting up an alternative high school that had day care and stuff. It's never low on enrollment.

Posted by Gitai | June 18, 2007 4:24 PM

How is one supposed to evolve if one prevents procreation?

Posted by pox | June 18, 2007 4:25 PM

I guess safe sex is only agreeable so long as there's always the chance of messing up your life and a kid's for 18+ years.

Posted by printer | June 18, 2007 4:33 PM

Viagra, Cialis, Enzyte, these products they don't have a problem with?

I think it was the word "evolve" that got the ads banned.

Posted by elswinger | June 18, 2007 4:53 PM

Do keep in mind that the only people who watch CBS are in their nineties, so contraception isn't really an issue anymore. And the only people who watch FOX are retarded, so using a condom requires physical and mental skills that are beyond them.

As for teenage mommas in the sticks: every time I go to Shelton, which I do as often as possible, I try to fit in a visit to the Wal-Mart, just so I can ogle the nineteen-year-old girls with a bun in the oven and three loaves already baked in the cart. Mullet-haired daddies may or may not be present; they either left when the babies appeared, or can't get the homemade half-Chevy truck, half-Toyota-sedan with enormous tires running. These people really do exist.

Posted by Fnarf | June 18, 2007 5:25 PM

Damn you FNARF, i am recovering from an operation and laughing really HURTS!. I think your post may have just popped all my stitches.

"three loaves in the cart"!

bless you Fnarf, OUTCH!

Posted by longball | June 18, 2007 5:36 PM

@10 - I grew up in one.

Never said I lived in one now.

Clue stick ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2007 5:52 PM

I think we're all totally missing the obvious subtextual joke, which of course is "pork".

Posted by Dougsf | June 18, 2007 5:56 PM

“Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.”

Isn't a contraceptive by definition a device or drug that prevents pregnancy?

This makes no sense to me.

Posted by ricky | June 18, 2007 5:57 PM

Who ever said there wasn't a teenage pregnancy problem in the city?

Doesn't a girl's entry into her 20s sans kids have more to do with educational opportunity, economic advantage, religious upbringing, social mores, and self-esteem than it does rural/urban divides?

Posted by bitch on heels | June 18, 2007 6:17 PM

Dan --

I think you're misinterpreting the refusals by CBS and Fox. What they are doing is well-thought out and logical, and contained in their corporate policies:

1) having sex with condoms is less enjoyable than without and
2) if you need birth control, better to use a product from a big pharma. And
3) there's liability if the product fails.

"Not rubber! Rubber break!" - Chico Escuela

Posted by Ebenezer | June 18, 2007 6:30 PM

isn't showing guys who want to get laid as pigs a bit sexist?
well mujeres, what do you think?

Posted by =rightsforsome | June 18, 2007 6:33 PM

"Snopes Flying Pig Trial" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Posted by Kerlyssa | June 18, 2007 6:35 PM

rightsforsome: I think it's clever. Some guy is hitting on you, doesn't want to use a condom- yeah, right. When pigs fly, douche.

Posted by Kerlyssa | June 18, 2007 6:39 PM

I don't think Right-Wingers should have a problem with the way they're using the word evolve - they're using it incorrectly and in exactly the way Creationists want the public to understand the concept.

POPULATIONS evolve, not INDIVIDUALS. That, along with misleading phrases like "survival of the fittest" help spread confusion about concepts like evolution.

So, remember: populations evolve over time, but when an individual changes it's never EVOLUTION.

Posted by jessemoya | June 19, 2007 6:20 AM

@8 LOL Ah yes, I grew up in one of these. When I was a sophomore in high-school one of my teachers told me that our town had the highest teen-pregnancy rate per-capita in the nation. I don't know if that was true or not, however I do know that including my best friend there were at least 10 girls in my class with visible baby bumps. My best friend actually suggested I should get pregnant so we could be pregnant at the same time. I moved to live with my mother in a different town the summer after that year.

Posted by JessB | June 19, 2007 7:29 AM

Good slog posts today, Dan. You really need a more publicly accessible blog. The Slog is great and all, but you could probably reach a lot more people if you had your own big shot blog. You have a lot more useful insight than just sex advice. Just a though.

Posted by marc in detroit | June 19, 2007 8:05 AM

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!!

Posted by DeeW | June 20, 2007 11:26 PM

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Posted by grolzfy iwlage | June 25, 2007 3:43 PM

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