PTC Releases Best/Worst TV Advertisers List, with a Twist

Written by PTC | Published November 22, 2013

The Parents Television Council has released its annual Best and Worst TV Advertisers List which focuses on companies that sponsor more family-friendly TV programming and those that do not. This year’s list with a “twist” ranks the best and worst advertisers by brand category rather than just by the corporate parent as the PTC’s past lists have done. “This year’s analysis should provide greater clarity for those members of the public who wish to ‘vote with their wallets’ and have a direct impact in support of family entertainment. Those who are concerned about the effect that harmful media content has on children can play their part in supporting the ‘good’ sponsors and avoiding the ‘bad’ sponsors based on individual products,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “We base this list purely on the sponsorship behavior we see from these companies. The most inspiring corporate performance came from Walmart, which had the best score across all categories. Walmart has a longstanding commitment to sponsoring more family-friendly TV programming. Walmart’s own market research found an 18 percent improvement in performance of its ad when that ad appears on a family-friendly program, as opposed to a program containing graphic sex and violence. “The most disappointing corporate performance came from McDonalds. Even as a family brand, McDonalds was among the very worst performers. “With other companies, we noted similar patterns to our past lists. For instance, brands owned by Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Smucker’s, Clorox, and Johnson & Johnson continued to perform very favorably, just as they had in prior years. And brands owned by Unilever and Pepsi consistently underperformed. “TV sponsors should keep this in mind for future ad buys. A study from the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University suggests that programs with high levels of violent or sexual content can actually repress the viewers’ ability to recall advertised brands. By contrast, subjects who watched ‘neutral’ programming were better able to recall the ads the following day. “We encourage the public to use this list when they’re shopping, and we hope that the worst brands are motivated to improve the direction of their media spending. Advertisers are the true ‘customer’ of television programming, and they play a vital role in determining content – for better or worse,” Winter concluded. PTC’s Best/Worst TV Advertisers List – 2013 The list is based on each company’s prime time broadcast television ad buys during the 2012-2013 television season. Using the PTC’s trademarked 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. Visit the PTC’s prime time TV show ratings, the Family Guide, at The separate product categories include: Wireless Providers, Banks, General Retail, Clothing Retail, Fast Food Restaurants, Restaurants, Beverages, Personal Items/Groceries, Cosmetics/Hair Care, and Automobiles.

Wireless Providers

Best Worst
Sprint AT&T


Best Worst
TD Bank Wells Fargo
Chase Bank of America

General Retail

Best Worst
Walmart JC Penney
Sears Kohl’s

Clothing Retail

Best Worst
Famous Footwear Old Navy/Gap
H&M Burlington Coat Factory

Fast Food Restaurants

Best Worst
Dunkin Donuts McDonalds
Dominos Pizza Subway
Wendy’s Taco Bell


Best Worst
Red Lobster TGI Friday’s
Cracker Barrel Red Robin


Sub-Category Best Worst
Fruit Juice Ocean Spray Motts Apple Welch’s
Coffee/Tea Folgers Coffee Lipton Tea Nespresso
Soft Drink Coca Cola Diet Coke Diet Pepsi Dr Pepper

Personal Items/Groceries

Sub-Category Best Worst
Toilet Paper Charmin Quilted Northern
Paper Towels Bounty Brawny
Toothpaste Crest Colgate Aquafresh
Mouthwash Act Mouthwash Listerine

Cosmetics/Hair Care

Best Worst
Pantene Maybelline
Estee Lauder L'Oreal


Best Worst
Chevrolet Honda

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