9021-Oh No!

August 27,2008
Skaddadle
Todd Lieman( )
Sometimes my worlds collide and my professional life in advertising/marketing slams violently against my personal life as a dad. And oftentimes when that happens,it’s a recipe for some kind of commentary. The most recent example of this (interestingly enough) comes as a result of the soon-to-be-broadcast, "re-engineered" version of the new 90210.

It goes like this…

Because the CW Network has refused to pre-screen the first episodes of the new program, a parents group (that I will not name, as I don’t want them to receive any additional promotion) is calling on all advertisers to boycott the program. The group is claiming that the program glorifies (I’m paraphrasing here) "everything that’s bad in the world." This group’s claim is that because the network hasn’t agreed to pre-screen the show, it must be filled with teen sex, teen drug use and worst of all – TEENS!

If this group, which has some kind of self-appointed charter to tell parents and advertisers what to do, had chosen to decry the return of Shannon Dougherty to television, I could see its point. But, this group isn’t upset about bad acting, it’s upset about questionable content. This group, however, has decided what’s okay and what’s not – all by itself. Whatever serves its purposes.

I’m so freaking tired of groups like this. Chances are some dude didn’t have a job and made himself the Executive Director of some made-up "organization," whose "charter" is to save the world by not exposing kids to…the world (or at least, the world according to television).

What’s missing here is just this: If a program is controversial or questionable in content for some age groups, I believe it’s up to the parents to "protect" their kids from that content. Moreover, it’s up to the PARENTS to decide what’s questionable and what’s not. I don’t need some self-righteous blowhard telling me what I should or shouldn’t watch.

And, here is where the worlds collide; I certainly don’t want this same blowhard threatening my clients (or others) with economic consequences if they choose to advertise during these shows. If an advertiser chooses to buy time during 90210, it isn’t supporting teen promiscuity (should that actually be a theme) – it’s simply being smart. ("My demographic is here. My customer is here. I’m going to advertise here.")

This is just another example of the world going to he(ck) in a PC basket. Television is a business (just like being a "parents’ organization" is a business). If you don’t like what’s on – don’t watch it. Just stay out of my life and don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t/can and can’t do.

I loved the first 90210. In fact, I still watch reruns of it from time to time. I’m not going to watch this new one. I know it’s not "for me," but that’s not the reason. I’m not going to watch it because I think it’s going to suck. Plus, the remake of a masterpiece is never as good as the original!

So…dude…keep your (precious) hands off my entertainment.