June 15, 2008 8:50 PM
Viewers might have noticed something unusual in Thursday’s episode of “Swingtown” on CBS. No, not the stylish period threads the men were wearing.
Near the end of the show appeared one of those ads usually seen in the middle of the night or amidst reruns on cable, hawking a Time-Life collection of songs from the ’70s. The spot featured Peter “Easy Rider” Fonda as pitchman, urging viewers to call an 800 number to buy the “Flower Power” CD collection.
But wait, there’s more: If you order now, you also get two-disc bonus set “The Summer of Love”!
Broadcast networks rarely run such direct-response commercials in prime time unless they have got open slots. And “Swingtown,” about wife-swapping in the Chicago suburbs during the 1970s, has drawn the ire of groups like the Parents Television Council, which is asking stations to preempt the show and urging viewers to boycott its advertisers.
CBS said in a statement that the ad ran because “‘Swingtown’ was the perfect environment for the commercial content, given the similar era and that music is a big part of the program.”