The watchdog group ranks companies based on the content in the television shows “they chose to underwrite with their advertising dollars.” Among the best are Ford, Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s and Wal-Mart. Among the worst are Toyota, Sprint, Target and McDonald’s.
Just in time for the official start to holiday season, the Parents Television Council released its annual list of the “Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers” for the 2011-12 TV season.
Companies were ranked based on the content in the television shows they chose to underwrite with their advertising dollars. “Best” companies primarily sponsored programs with “positive, family-friendly themes” while advertisers that earned the “worst” label commonly appeared on shows that included harsh language, violence and sexual content.
“This week marks the official start of the holiday shopping season and businesses will quickly find out whether consumers support their brands,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Our list of the best and worst TV advertisers is meant to serve as a guide to holiday shoppers who support family-friendly advertisers, knowing the impact those companies have on today’s TV programming and, by extension, on our entertainment media culture.”
Winter continued: “If you’re in the market for an automobile this year and want to show support for family-friendly companies, both Ford and Nissan landed on our ‘best’ list, sponsoring programs like, Who Do You Think You Are and Minute to Win It, while Toyota appeared on our ‘worst’ list for programs like, Grimm, Awake and Smash.
“If consumers are considering where to shop, Wal-Mart and CVS landed on our best list, but Target secured a spot on the ‘worst’ list. Other friendly brands include Procter & Gamble (Ivory and Oil of Olay soap) and General Mills (Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs and Hamburger Helper).
“For fast food chains, this year Wendy’s exhibited more corporate responsibility than McDonald’s, which has shown an unfortunate slide from the family-friendly ranks. When reaching for a soda, we found Coca-Cola supported far more family-friendly programming than PepsiCo.
“Other companies like Brinker international — owner of the Chili’s restaurant chain — which appeared on our ‘worst’ advertisers list as recently as 2009, turned a positive corner this year by committing to wholesome, family-friendly content. Brinker’s improvement in its advertising policy corresponds with solid financial results, corroborating recent research by retail behemoth Wal-Mart that the performance of advertising dollars is increased by 18% when associated with positive programming as opposed to negative programming.
“As they do every holiday season, businesses depend on every dollar and this is a chance for consumers to vote with their wallets and support brands in line with their own values. PTC encourages every shopper to reward those companies who have consistently supported positive, family-friendly content throughout the year,” Winter concluded.
Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers
The PTC’s list of the “Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers” is based on each company’s primetime broadcast television ad buys during the 2011-12 television season. Using PTC’s traffic light ratings system, each company was assigned a point value based on the number of green, yellow and red light shows it sponsored. Special weight was assigned to advertisers that demonstrated a corporate commitment to sponsor family-friendly programming. To see each primetime show’s rating, click here.
2. Procter & Gamble (Pampers, Tide, Crest, Downy, Febreze)
3. General Mills (Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Old El Paso)
8. Brinker International (Chili’s, Maggiano’s)
10. SC Johnson and Coca-Cola (tied)
3. Metro PCS
5. Red Bull
8. CKE Restaurant (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s)
To compare this ranking to 2011, click here.