LOS ANGELES (September 4, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ condemned the CW Network for the premiere episode of “90210” that contained an implied scene of high school children engaged in oral sex. The program also glamorized underage drinking, pornography and profanity. The PTC is contacting each of the advertisers that sponsored the program to make sure they are aware of the specific content that they underwrote. The oral sex scene appeared during the opening segment of the show, which aired during the family hour of 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT (7:00 p.m. CDT and MDT).
“The CW Network has openly, wantonly and eagerly violated every business tenet of the broadcast industry. They shocked viewers during the family hour by depicting high school children engaged in oral sex in their car; they sucker-punched their ultimate customers – the program’s sponsors, by not adequately disclosing the nature of this scene in the program; and they directly and intentionally marketed this adult fare to children,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“Executives at the CW Network publicly stated their intention not to allow advertisers a chance to screen the show and now we know why. The corporations who sponsored this episode include some of the most socially responsible advertisers in the country with strict program content guidelines that are diligently adhered to. Each and every sponsor who was not told of this graphic content should demand – and receive – a full and complete refund of their media purchase.
“When I began my career at NBC in the early ‘80s, there was a screening room literally across the hall from my office where advertisers were afforded the opportunity to view every episode of every program they were to sponsor. The advertisers understood how critical it was to know what type of content they were underwriting, and the network understood how critical it was to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction to the advertisers who pay the network’s bills.
“But according to media reports, after keeping advertisers as in the dark as possible, the network edited the script at the last minute to include the oral sex scene. In reviewing the list of advertisers that sponsored the ‘90210’ premiere, PTC is confident that many of them were blindsided by the misguided addition – especially on a program geared towards teenagers and pre-teens.
“No socially responsible advertiser would sponsor the clear sexual gratification of a high school boy, sitting in his car with a pretty brunette girl’s head in his lap – all during the family hour, no less. And CW’s decision to put this on the public airwaves at 8:00 p.m. is an affront to the public interest requirements of a broadcast licensee.
“The CW Network has made its intentions clear: ratings and target demographics are more important than business integrity. Therefore, we are encouraging advertisers who were duped not only to pull media buys from ‘90210,’ but from every CW Network show. And for those advertisers who knew about the scene and decided to sponsor it anyway, the public will soon know who they are,” Winter concluded.