Staples, McDonald's Criticized for Ads in 'Medium'

Parents Television Council Complains About Sexual Content

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Staples and McDonald's are the latest advertisers to come under attack for airing ads on graphically sexual TV programming, with the Parents Television Council today announcing it has sent letters to both companies admonishing then for sponsoring a Feb. 6 segment of NBC's "Medium."
The episode under attack featured scenes of a man having sex with a prostitute who he then murdered.
The episode under attack featured scenes of a man having sex with a prostitute who he then murdered.

'Graphic depictions'
PTC described the episode as containing "graphic depictions" of a man having sex with a prostitute whose hands were tied to the bed, reaching orgasm and then murdering the prostitute by smothering her with a pillow.

"Without Staples' and McDonald's advertising dollars, programs like 'Medium' could not exist," PTC President L. Brent Bozell said in a statement. "By underwriting such graphic sexual content, these companies are violating parents' trust in their corporate brand and image. Both Staples and McDonald's have chosen not to take responsibility for where their ads have aired and for the content their advertising dollars are making possible."

Staples statement
Staples in a statement said it "advertises with a variety of media outlets, but we do not necessarily share the same views of these organizations or their content. We will take their concerns into consideration in our ongoing advertising plans."

McDonald's did not immediately respond. PTC said the burger chain had responded to their letter by saying, "As an advertiser, our role is not to determine what broadcasters should or should not air. That decision belongs to the broadcaster and, ultimately, to the individual viewer."

Mr. Bozell called the companies response "disingenuous" and said they could have an impact on TV content.

"If companies were unwilling to buy advertising on sexually graphic shows, those offensive shows would disappear overnight," he said.
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