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Press Release

December 9, 2009

PTC Names the Best and Worst TV Sponsors
Holiday Shoppers Asked to Vote with Their Wallets and Support Responsible Companies


LOS ANGELES (December 9, 2009) – The Parents Television Council® released its annual list of the “Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers” for the 2008-2009 television season.  Companies were ranked based on content in television shows that they chose to underwrite with their advertising dollars.  The companies on the best list predominantly sponsored family-friendly TV programs, while those on the worst list supported shows containing objectionable content including foul language, violence and sexual themes and images.


“There is a direct link between advertisers and television programming.  Put simply, TV shows would never make it to the broadcast airwaves without sponsors.  Those sponsors choose every day whether they will bring graphic or gratuitous content into American living rooms, or underwrite positive, family-friendly programming,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“We tip our hats to the companies that have repeatedly made PTC’s best advertisers list.  In a challenging economic climate like this one, successful businesses are demonstrating how important it is to stand by their family-friendly media buying policies, and to refuse to dilute their hard-earned brands by sponsoring harmful or graphic programming.


“We also applaud those companies that have improved their ad buying practices and have earned a spot on our best list.  After being named a worst advertiser in 2007, Payless has now earned the number six spot on our best list for supporting shows the entire family can watch including ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’ and ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics,’ both on Fox.


“On the other hand, the advertisers on our worst list have earned their rankings for sponsoring such programs as CW’s very-adult ‘Gossip Girl’ that is marketed directly to tweens and teens, and the always-offensive ‘Family Guy’ on Fox.  A number of these advertisers also sponsored deplorable cable programming such as the violent and profanity-laden ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Skins,’ the latter of which contains some of the most graphic sexual content and drug use involving teens on television today.


“During this holiday shopping season, we ask parents, families and concerned citizens to think before they buy and support companies that exercise responsibility in their ad placements.  Families are tired of being assaulted by graphic content every time they turn on the television.  It’s up to us to show the corporate sponsors of explicit television programming that their media decisions have consequences,” 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 prime time network television ad buys during the 2008-2009 television season.  Special weight is given to advertisers who deliberately sought out family-friendly programming and those who advertised on PTC “campaign shows” on broadcast television and cable, which consistently feature problematic sexual, violent or profane content.  Based on PTC’s trademarked traffic light ratings system, companies with the most ads on green light shows were ranked the best, while companies with the most ads on red light shows were ranked the worst.  To see each prime time show’s rating, please visit http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/familyguide/main.asp.



  1. General Mills

  2. Clorox Company

  3. Coca-Cola

  4. Ford Motor Company

  5. Wal-Mart

  6. Collective Brands (Brand: Payless ShoeSource)

  7. Colgate Palmolive

  8. J.C. Penney

  9. State Farm Insurance

  10. Kmart



  1. Yum! Brands

  2. General Motors

  3. Sprint Nextel Corporation

  4. Unilever USA (Brands: Axe Body Spray, Degree, Dove, Lipton, Slim-Fast)

  5. Verizon Communications Inc.

  6. Apple

  7. Burger King


  9. Brinker International Restaurants (Brand: Chili’s)

  10. AT&T


To compare this ranking to 2008, visit: http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/news/release/2008/1124.asp.



To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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