Parents' Group Slams Some Marketers, Praises Others

A parent's watchdog group has given its seal of approval to Ford Motor Co. and Coca-Cola, but General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler and Nissan are among the brands in the dog house. The group, the Parents Television Council, issued its fifth-annual list of the best and worst of prime-time TV advertisers this week, based on how often advertisers aired spots in "wholesome, family-oriented" shows rather than on programs containing "sexually graphic, violent or profane material." All the analyzed ad placements appeared on prime-time broadcast TV during the last season. "There is good news and bad news," says PTC President Brent Bozell. "We compliment those who made the best, but some [on the worst list] need to take responsibility." Last year, all the car companies were on PTC's worst list and most still are, save for Ford. PTC officials say Ford's active sponsorship of "American Idol" helped it move to the best list. Officials at some carmakers defended their advertising. "Our brands advertise using a wide variety of programming to reach the diverse and broad audiences that make up the American public," says Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines. Two of last year's "best"--J.M. Smucker and Merck & Co.were dropped from this year's best list. Coca-Cola topped the best list this year, rising from eighth last year.
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