CBS also looks hypocritical given that in 2003, when it was still owned by Viacom, along with its sister network UPN, it ran a series of condom-promoting scenes within its sitcoms as part of an AIDS-education initiative with the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Foundation folks apparently believe that sex scenes on broadcast television during prime time are acceptable -- as long as the condom-education message is present.
There are dozens of raunchy sex scenes on these networks' programming every week that on the offensiveness meter surpass what was presented by the Trojan ads. And what about all those other sex ads these networks do carry? TV watchers of all stripes complain about sexual-product ads on TV, especially the Viagra-Cialis ads that seem omnipresent to sports fans. ("Daddy, what's a penile erectile dysfunction?") Yet Fox hasn't rejected those for not being health-related enough.
It's possible that the two networks rejected this ad not because it was too sexual, but it's too sexist -- against men. Can you imagine the makers of female contraception casting women as farm animals because they haven't gone on the pill?
Viacom stations no longer aligned with CBS, like MTV and Comedy Central, are naturally running these Trojan ads. So, too, are ABC and NBC. Perhaps for this reason alone CBS and Fox should be commended. But they cannot escape the charge of hypocrisy until they do more to demonstrate to both advertisers, as well as their programming assembly lines, that there is a moral line somewhere in TV Land that should not be crossed. There is some border, some frontier where sexual manipulation of the audience goes too far. This time, the pigs didn't win.
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