Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, James Steyer, saie "Nearly 5.3 million kids watch football each week, yet one in six of the ads shown during the broadcasts features content that's wildly inappropriate for kids -- that's every other commercial break..."
Common Sense Media's report found that:
One big reason for pro football's popularity, says the report, is the game's appeal for the whole family. On any given Sunday afternoon, millions of families gather in front of the television to root for their favorite teams.
Ronnie Lott, former San Francisco 49er and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, says "Football teaches kids a lot of great lessons... but families... should be able to watch these games without worrying that their kids will be bombarded with adult ads... "
Most pro football games are broadcast between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm EST, hours that have traditionally been considered time for family programming. Yet the promotional spots for TV shows, ads for movies, DVDs, and video games shown during these time periods were clearly intended for adult audiences only, says the report.
While the report says that though approximately 16% of the ads and promos during pro football broadcasts are about sex, violence, and alcohol, more than 360 ads and promos (an additional 6% of the total reviewed) were for junk food and soda... juxtaposed with the NFL's new Play 60 public service campaign, which encourages kids to be more physically active.
In summary, the study:
Parents want to watch pro football with their kids without getting sucker punched by ads aimed at grown-ups. They want America's game to be fun for every American family, including our kids. So, who's responsible for responsible broadcasts?
The report quotes N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a statement in The New York Times, June 2, 2007, who said "If you're involved with the N.F.L... (or) represent the N.F.L... you are held to a higher standard, and you need to be accountable... (with) a certain standard of behavior... to live up to, from the commissioner on down."
Please refer to the complete release here to find access to the PDF report and samples of ads reviewed by this study.