The latest controversy over a new prime-time show that has been controversial from the outset surrounds why a major marketer pulled its ads from the show.
TMZ.com broke the story that Kraft had pulled advertising for its Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand from ABC’s “GCB.” The company provided a statement to the website that said in part: “Philadelphia has decided to pull its advertising from ‘GCB.’ … We have received a few complaints from consumers, and their opinions about our advertising are important to us."
Then the company appeared to try to soften its stance, telling The Hollywood Reporter that reports implying it pulled out because of any controversy are false.
Kraft told THR: “As part of a larger multishow media buy on ABC-TV, there were some spots included in the rotation for the new GCB series. It’s customary to advertise on premiere episodes due to their large viewership, like Philadelphia Cream Cheese did this week.”
Kraft’s statement to THR also said: “The brand has decided to redirect advertising to other programs with an established audience. Although we received a few consumer complaints, this decision was not linked in any way to the content of this particular show.”
“GCB,” based on the book “Good Christian Bitches,’ is a satire of Texas women who are devout church-goers but snipe and gossip about each other. It has drawn criticism from various activist groups, with New York Councilman Peter Vallone reportedly urging his constituents to boycott the show.
The show premiered Sunday to modest numbers, finishing a close second in its 10 p.m. time slot to NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” with a 2.2 average in the key 18-49 demo to NBC’s 2.4. It beat the NBC show in total viewers, 7.6 million to 6.97 million.
“GCB’s” ratings performance reportedly represented a five-month high for the network in the time period.