PTC: ConAgra Pulls Ad Dollars From WWF Smackdown!, Bozell Defends
The Parents Television Council, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, yesterday claimed yet another triumph for families and children against WWF Smackdown!.
In a shareholders' meeting yesterday afternoon, PTC Executive Director Mark Honig illustrated to ConAgra exactly what kind of "trash" they were supporting with their ad dollars on WWF Smackdown!
Before the meeting was finished, Tim McMahon, Senior VP of Marketing and Communications for ConAgra announced that they will immediately cease buying ad time on WWF Smackdown!
"I am pleased that ConAgra has responded favorably to our request-joining the ranks of over thirty-seven corporate giants who refuse to sponsor WWF Smackdown!. This program treats children to heavy doses of violence, racial stereotyping, foul language, graphic sexual innuendo and sexist comments. This decision by ConAgra defines the essence of corporate responsibility," said Mark Honig, Executive Director of the PTC. "Thank you, Mr. McMahon," he said, "for refusing to fund the most violent and dangerous show on network television today."
While ConAgra has agreed to stop buying any more ad time on Smackdown!, ads that have already been purchased will complete their run, and advertising will then cease.
ConAgra is the most recent corporation to pull its advertising dollars from WWF Smackdown!. To date, more than thirty-seven corporations contacted by PTC have pledged to withhold advertising dollars from the show, including corporate giants like MCI WorldCom, Wendy's, Ford, General Motors, Coca Cola, AT&T, M&M Mars, Clorox, State Farm, Office Depot, Walgreens, Saks Inc., and Delta Airlines. Once the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard learned of the content on Smackdown!, they too pulled their sponsorship, stating that the show did not reflect their core values.
Naturally, World Wrestling Federation's has said that the PTC's educational campaign to corporate America has resulted in a 35% drop in WWFE's stock value.
In response, L. Brent Bozell III, Chairman of the Parents Television Council, said, "I guess the WWFE has learned the hard way just how painful it is to be smacked down by responsible corporate advertisers. As the Chairman of the PTC, I claim full responsibility for an educational campaign that tells the truth about Smackdowns! raw sexual content and violent programming that is marketed directly to the children of our nation. Vince and Linda McMahon can malign the PTC and me personally all they want.
"They can make all the legal threats against our organization they wish. And their supporters can continue their death threats against us. But, the PTC will continue its campaign to convince corporate America that it has a national responsibility to turn away from such violent and sexually explicit programming aimed at children.
"The fact that yesterday we convinced Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim, to pull their ad dollars f