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« on: December 06, 2004, 12:41:44 PM »

Group's Online Activism Initiatives Impacting Network TV's Worst

by AFA Journal
December 6, 2004

(AgapePress) - With notable success, the American Family Association's online activist program is helping to stem the tide of television filth.

OneMillionMoms.com (OMM) and OneMillionDads.com (OMD) offer online members immediate access to corporate CEOs when their companies' advertising supports offensive prime-time programs. In October, OMM/OMD was successful in a number of campaigns involving some of the nation's largest companies.

When household cleaning product company SC Johnson announced its plans to wholly underwrite TBS's He's A Lady, OMM/OMD encouraged members to make a personal phone call to Chairman H. Fisk Johnson. The reality series features 11 men who compete to win a $250,000 cash prize. The winner is the one who, wearing women's clothing, make-up and accessories, looks the most like a woman. After thousands of phone calls from SC Johnson customers, the show premiered October 12 as scheduled, but without the SC Johnson advertising.

AFA special projects director Randy Sharp shows two of the five recent issues of Advertising Age that have featured the efforts of OneMillionMoms.com and OneMillionDads.com
On ABC, Lowe's, Banquet, Tyson, Swanson, and Kellogg's dropped advertising support from Desperate Housewives. The new fall show focuses on the lives of four female suburbanites obsessed with their sexual frustrations. Scenes have included two divorcees battling over a new widower in the neighborhood and a married woman regularly having sex with the teenage lawn boy. Dialogue is often explicit.

Major media outlets are now covering OMM/OMD successes. WorldNetDaily.com, CNN, CNBC, Advertising Age, FoxNews.com, and The New York Post have all credited OMM/OMD with convincing advertisers to place their advertising dollars on more family-friendly shows.

AFA founder and chairman Don Wildmon says parents are becoming involved in guarding the public airwaves. "This tells me two things," said Wildmon. "First, advertisers are taking notice of OneMillionMoms and OneMillionDads; and secondly, our efforts are not going unnoticed by the executives at the major networks. There is an accountability process, and it's working."

Dr. Don Wildmon   
He says network executives know OMM/OMD has the ear of their biggest advertisers. "It's making them nervous," Wildmon reports. "They don't like to lose big ad money, and they hope OneMillionMoms and OneMillionDads will fail." So far, the networks have been on the losing end.

Hard-Headed Hardee's
On occasion, companies choose to disregard consumer opinions and continue their offending ways. One such company is Hardee's. Hardee's parent company, CKE Restaurants (which also owns Carl's Jr.) began airing an offensive commercial featuring a scantily clad woman riding a mechanical bull while eating a Hardee's hamburger.

As one OMM member said, "They have a young women suggestively riding a mechanical bull eating one of their thickburgers in a rather pornographic way."

Another member said, "[The] woman is moaning and simulating sexual arousal."

For months, Hardee's had disregarded nearly tens of thousands of e-mails, phone calls, and faxes to the corporate office and franchise association members. OMM/OMD is now encouraging members to contact their local storeowner and manager, asking them to speak out on behalf of concerned parents.

In addition, Hardee's sister company, Carl's Jr. hired Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner last year as a spokesperson.

Wildmon believes the company hierarchy has completely abandoned its appeal to traditional families and is focused on using an edgy message to target young males. "It's as if the company has a mental pre-occupation with sexploitative marketing," Wildmon said.


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