CBS Screens ‘Nation’ Episode for Ad Buyers

Aug 30, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Amid the controversy over the making of CBS’ new show “Kid Nation,” the network has been screening a full episode of the program for ad buyers and clients.
Reports have questioned whether child labor laws were followed during production, and some officials have begun investigations. Some groups also have issues with whether children should put in uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations to make reality shows for television.
CBS said that from time to time it screens shows for advertisers, but declined to say whether any sponsors have asked that their spots be pulled from “Kid Nation.” More screenings are planned for next week.
“A cautious approach from some advertisers to a show generating this much attention is very common,” CBS said in a statement. CBS said the show was “well received” in the screenings.
“We believe the issues raised about ‘Kids Nation’ will be resolved when the public sees the first episode Sept. 19,” CBS said.
Rino Scanzoni, chief negotiating officer for major media-buying company GroupM, said he had attended the screening to see what the controversy was about. He said he wasn’t aware of any clients raising concerns about the program.
Aaron Cohen, executive VP and director of broadcast at independent media agency Horizon Media, said he hadn’t heard of any advertiser wanting off the show.
“Being sensitive is fair. Pulling out, you’d really need a reason. And the reasons they were talking about don’t really impact anybody,” Mr. Cohen said.
“If a kid had been hurt, or maltreated, or had negative effects after the program was over, you would have heard about it earlier,” Mr. Cohen added. “I don’t think this is going to amount to anything.”
(Editor: Horowitz)


  1. Says media executive Aaron Cohen, “And the reasons they were talking about don’t really impact anybody. If a kid had been hurt, or maltreated, or had negative effects after the program was over, you would have heard about it earlier. I don’t think this is going to amount to anything.”
    A kid had been hurt. We are hearing about it. And it is amounting to something.
    In what cave do you dwell, Aaron?
    According to the Los Angeles Times, one mother has already filed a complaint because her daughter was burned in the face with cooking grease. Furthermore, 25%…no small number… of the parents of these children have complained to two child advocacy groups. In the past two weeks alone the Los Angeles Times has published eight articles about the controversy, including one on Page A-1.
    Additionally, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the New Mexico attorney general are investigating…and speaking out.
    How can you dismiss all that with a clear conscience, Aaron? How can you say this isn’t going to amount to anything? Too late. It already has.
    This is about little children, Aaron. How about demonstrating an itsy bitsy trace of social responsibility and erring on the side of defending them instead of exploiting them? How about erring on the side of caution and steering your advertisers away from this unseemly controversy. This is not summer camp and CBS is not made up of benevolent camp counselors. CBS et al are ruthlessly competitive television executives with ratings and only ratings on their minds.
    Let’s stop defending obscenely wealthy Sumner Redstone’s choice as CBS’ controlling shareholder to make as much money as he possibly can off the backs of little kids.
    Aaron, comments and attitudes like yours give the entire advertising industry a black eye for insensitivty and irresponsibility. Show some scruples.
    These are children you’re so indifferently dismissing with your remark: “I don’t think this is going to amount to anything.”

  2. CBS is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
    The producers call it entertainment.
    Some have called it torture (children living under horrible conditions working 16 hour days).
    Others call it neglect. Parents cannot sign away their responsibility to protect a child.
    I call it irresponsible exploitation and, if the show airs, intend to boycott CBS and any advertisers who endorse it.
    There are an estimated 568 episodes of Living Homeless on the Streets of Dallas. Perhaps their writers could come up with program ideas there. God knows they could use the money.

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    Anxious Girl

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  5. Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel 🙂

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