'Broadcast Dysfunction' Report Hits NFL Hard, Says Many Spots Inappropriate For Kids

On the eve of Super Bowl XLIII, an influential public advocacy group has released a report blasting much of the advertising in NFL games as being "inappropriate for kids." The report, "Broadcast Dysfunction: Sex, Violence, Alcohol and the NFL," released early this morning by Common Sense Media finds that one in six ads aired ruing NFL broadcasts should not be shown to children.

The report was especially critical of Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra brand, and other erectile dysfunction drug brands, hence the report's name.

"I wasn't too happy with ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs popping up every fifteen minutes whenever I watched a football game with my daughters in the room," the report quoted from President Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope." It also cited verbatims from some of the study's respondents, including one who said, "My son was walking around one day singing the Viagra jingle. (He's 9!)"

Two out of every five NFL games carried an ad for at least one erectile dysfunction brand, according to the study.

The report wasn't just critical of the pharmaceutical brands, but pointed out that many other products and services advertised during NFL games utilized egregious sex and violence in their commercials.

The 57 NFL games analyzed in the study carried a total of 5,778 ads or promo spots, 519 of which were deemed to be "violent," 80 of which were considered overly sexual, and 300 of which promoted the consumption of alcohol.

"Pro football is by far the most popular sport among kids - nearly two-thirds (65.7%) of kids ages 7-11 say they watch pro football on television," the report notes, citing Nielsen research that more than 5.3 million kids ages 2-17 (including 2.8 million ages 2-11) watch the average pro football game on broadcast TV or ESPN each week.

"One big reason for pro football's popularity is the game's appeal for the whole family," the reported noted, adding, "On any given Sunday afternoon, millions of families gather in front of the television to root for their favorite teams."

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4 comments about "'Broadcast Dysfunction' Report Hits NFL Hard, Says Many Spots Inappropriate For Kids".
  1. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace , January 29, 2009 at 9:23 a.m.

    These Ads SHOULD NOT BE SHOWN on Television between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM. The Pharmacutical Companies do not seem to care who is watching Television whenever they show these ads, as I have seen them at all hours of the day. I have even seen them aired during Children's Shows! Complaining to the Networks, Stations or Providers is useless, as doing so will result in the standard "We have no control over what our Advertisers show" (Sometimes you will also get the "Constitutional Rights" Speil). Two years ago I finally did something about this. I stopped watching all Live TV. If a program is not recorded I will not watch it. I am sure many Parents use DVRs in the same way, to shield their Children from these abomonations. <P> <P>

  2. steve douglas , January 29, 2009 at 10:50 a.m.

    Of course these ads have a place on television, highlighting issues about which many people have litle understanding promote healthy debate. take male impotency- millions of men worldwide suffer in silence afraid to discuss their failure to perform even with their own doctor. Clinical trials show a herb- Butea Superba improve sexual performane in 8 out of 10 men who take it. See www.healthyed.co.uk for full details.

  3. Thorsten Rhode from marqueteer , January 29, 2009 at 12:30 p.m.

    This is called 'targeting.' If you do not agree with the ads, then do not watch them -- or time-shift your viewing. You could also talk to your kids about what they are watching, they know more than you think anyway. I was born and raised in country where you would see a topless woman in a shower gel commercial (I am talking 'frontal topless') at 6pm. Lo and behold, that country is still thriving today, once again being the No. 1 exporter in the world for 2008 (they also build those German cars there...). Instead of always blaming the media, the advertisers and listening to vocal minorities, let's take a look at how we can educate our children and bring them along -- without over-protection and ... have I made my point yet?

  4. The digital Hobo from TheDigitalHobo.com , January 29, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.

    @ Thorsten: C'mon, guy. This is about the SuperBowl. Everyone is watching. Its an event that you watch live. You don't tell people to not watch the commercials for an event that has become as much about the commercials as the game itself.

    Its not about targeting. They run those ads because their target audience is watching. The point is that there are millions - billions - of other people watching as well that they may not be appropriate first.