PTC Ranks Explict, Violent Show Sponsors

Parents Television Council President Tim Winter: “Today we call for greater responsibility by the corporations whose media dollars underwrite some of the most harmful material on broadcast television. These companies have sponsored programs that routinely deliver explicit content.”

The Parents Television Council today ranked the “Top Sponsors of Sexual Content, Suggestive Dialogue, Foul Language and Violence,” which feature the companies most closely associated with some of what the watchdog group calls “most offensive content on broadcast television.”

“Today we call for greater responsibility by the corporations whose media dollars underwrite some of the most harmful material on broadcast television,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “These companies have sponsored programs that routinely deliver explicit content such as jokes about incest, rape, pedophilia; glorify adultery; barrages of bleeped and partially-bleeped F-words; and intense, brutal violence, including cannibalism and fetishized butchery.”

Winter continued: “Corporate advertisers will be in New York City this week to begin negotiating their upfront advertising commitments to the broadcast networks. Beyond just attempting to reach a desired viewer demographic, both client and agency buyers should weigh carefully whether continued association with this kind of content will help or hurt their brands. Research conducted by the Association of National Advertisers found that when companies perceived to be family-oriented advertise on programs with explicit content, their brand equity can be hurt by as much as 30% when compared to advertising on family-oriented programs. We are asking these companies to reconsider the direction of their media spending and instead sponsor more family-oriented programming.

“The companies on our lists are the worst offenders in each category, and McDonalds, YUM! Brands, and Toyota Motor Sales Inc., in particular have been the top contributors to the most explicit broadcast TV shows.

“Particularly jarring,”Winter said, “is the direction that McDonald’s advertising has taken in recent years, given its history as a family — and child-centric — brand. We’ve recently reached out to McDonald’s to encourage the company to change course, as it used to be one of our ‘best’ advertisers. And perhaps not coincidentally, data shows the company to have had better earnings when it eschewed explicit TV programming.

“Family quality programming doesn’t just benefit families. It is also more profitable for the corporate sponsors who advertise on the broadcast networks. We hope that companies will choose wisely where to put their ad dollars for the benefit of families across this country,” Winter added.


Background: PTC says the following lists feature companies that “most frequently sponsor some of the most offensive content on broadcast television,” programs that have been evaluated and reviewed by the Parents Television Council’s Research Department.

TV sexual content was broken into two categories: Sexual Content, which included depictions of or implied sexual content, and Suggestive Dialogue, which specifically included dialogue about sexual content.

Sexual Content

  1. McDonald’s Corp.
  2. YUM! Brands
  3. Mars Inc.
  4. Colgate Palmolive Co.
  5. Virgin Mobile Telecoms
  6. Time Warner Inc.
  7. Sony Corp. of America
  8. Toyota Motor Sales
  9. Samsung Electronics America
  10. Red Bull North America

Suggestive Dialogue

  1. McDonald’s Corp.
  2. Subway Restaurants
  3. Target Corp.
  4. Kohl’s Corporation
  5. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
  6. Unilever United States
  7. AT&T Corp.
  8. Verizon Communications
  9. Toyota Motor Sales
  10. Microsoft

Foul Language

  1. McDonald’s Corp.
  2. YUM! Brands
  3. L’Oreal USA
  4. Verizon Communications
  5. Toyota Motor Sales
  6. Cablevision Systems
  7. Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)
  8. Capital One Financial Corp.
  9. H & R Block
  10. Hyundai


  1. Subway Restaurants
  2. YUM! Brands
  3. Verizon Communications
  4. AT&T Corp.
  5. Sprint Corporation
  6. Burlington Industries
  7. Daimler Chrysler
  8. Toyota Motor Sales
  9. General Motors Corp.
  10. Signet Group plc (Kay Jewelers)

Comments (5)

Leave a Reply

Ellen Samrock says:

May 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Tim Winter needs to get himself a real job; longshoreman, perhaps. As it is, the folks at the PTC have way too much time on their hands.

John Murray says:

May 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

This is the Winter of our discontent. Hey, I guess if Tim really gets angry at all this perceived TV filth, he becomes “nuclear Winter”….?

Shenee Howard says:

May 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hey PTC, if there is something you don’t want to watch on TV, don’t watch it. Just keep your own values ot yourselves and not foreced on the rest of us. At the end of the day, you can be your own censor, just let me make the decisions right for myself. Change the channel.

Wagner Pereira says:

May 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm

As Cablevision is on this list, it is obvious the list was compiled off of NYC TV, which means the list might be different on a true National Scale, fwiw. I know McDonalds has been running a split 15 for Buy One Get One Free Big Macs in NYC with huge local tonnage – and isn’t it interesting that that showed up at the top of most lists. Considering the top 2 on all lists are fast foods, its clear McDonalds was purely being competitive.

Brian Bussey says:

May 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

the creatives are just running out of reasons to honorably shoot people. for entertainment.

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