Media CBS & Fox Want You Knocked Up
posted by June 18 at 15:04 PMon
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.
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.