PTC to Target MTV Advertisers

Feb 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to encourage MTV to clean up its programming, the watchdog Parents Television Council announced a plan Tuesday to target the cable network’s advertisers with negative publicity. “If it weren’t for their money, this garbage wouldn’t be on TV,” said Brent Bozell, PTC president, at a press briefing in Washington. “The politics of shame is a wonderful thing.”

MTV is of particular concern to Mr. Bozell because a new PTC study alleges that the network, which is watched by 73 percent of boys and 78 percent of girls age 12 to 19, glamorizes drug and alcohol use, sexual promiscuity and violence.

Also according to the study, MTV reality programming included an average of 13 sexual scenes per hour while the network’s music videos included 32 foul language references per hour during the March 20 through March 27 study period last year. Mr. Bozell also said MTV’s example presents a powerful case for a shift to a la carte pricing in cable-giving parents a choice in determining what cable programming they want to subsidize and allow into their homes.

“The incessant sleaze on MTV presents the most compelling case yet for consumer cable choice,” Mr. Bozell said. “Given a choice, how many parents now being forced to take and pay for MTV as part of a basic cable package would continue to do so?”

An MTV spokesperson said the PTC’s study falls short by failing to pay adequate heed to some MTV initiatives, including “Choose or Lose,” a political awareness program. “To paint MTV with this brush of irresponsibility is inaccurate and unfair,” the spokesperson said. “We reflect young people’s culture in a very honest, creative and responsible way.”