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Episode Seven: Man And Machine
Brought to you by: IBM
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Turns out Seth MacFarlane isn't PC enough to be a PC. Microsoft was set to sponsor a prime time special by the "Family Guy" creator as part of its Windows 7 media blitz, but was somehow surprised when the typically MacFarlane-esque fare didn't exactly "fit with the Windows brand."
Variety reports that three days after crowing about its new Seth MacFarlane deal to the world, it pulled the plug after getting a look at the content, which included "riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest," the company pulled out of the project.
"We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail statement. "We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas. We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent."
That's a long walk back from what Microsoft marketing exec (and former branded-entertainment chief) Gayle Troberman said a few days before: "You'll see us deeply integrated into the content," she told Ad Age. "You'll hear how Windows 7 can help you simplify your PC -- it's simple, fast and easy to use."
The show, "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," was to be the second collaboration between MacFarlane and Microsoft's "I'm a PC" agency Crispin, Porter & Bogusky. The first was the much-ballyhooed deal between MacFarlane and Crispin client Burger King, a custom web series distributed on YouTube and over Google's content network.
Fox is still planning to run the special as part of an "all Seth MacFarlane night" on Nov. 8 with another, as yet unnamed, sponsor. And Microsoft says "Family Guy" remains in its marketing plans for Windows 7 and hopes to work with MacFarlane "in other areas."