According to The New York Times, TV execs in Pittsburgh are saving the local populace from the harmful effects of condom advertising.
Controversy over a new advertising campaign by Trojan, the condom maker, has trickled down to the local level, with television stations in Pittsburgh roundly refusing to show it, and stations in Seattle giving it the green light.
When Trojan introduced the condom commercial last month, it was rejected as national advertising by both CBS and Fox. Fox said it objected to the message that condoms can prevent pregnancy, while CBS said it was not “appropriate,” drawing a firestorm of criticism from public health advocates and bloggers.
But Trojan, which is owned by Church & Dwight, was in for more unhappy surprises last week. Local affiliates in Pittsburgh for ABC and NBC, two networks that had agreed to run the ad nationally, also snubbed it.
The odd effect of these decisions will be that viewers in the Pittsburgh area will be able to see the commercials during national advertising slots on ABC or NBC — if with less frequency. Stations sell their own commercial slots as well, to local and national advertisers, and the ads are subject to local review even if they pass muster with networks.
If you’re going to sell beer every five feet, which they do in Pittsburgh, some condom commercials won’t destroy the city’s moral fiber. And since when does the Fox network have any standards it needs to uphold?