Friday, March 19, 2010

Should The Message Match The Source?

When I worked for a family-friendly radio station, I had to constantly monitor the content of commercials that were placed on the station. I was usually the first person inside the building who heard the spots. Most times there were no problems, but around the months for TV sweeps, I would usually find a word or two that would have to be edited.

The station had a commitment to its family friendly status, and that included being entirely safe for young ears. Occasionally, we had to tell advertisers that we couldn’t run their spots. Imagine that.

Recently, while doing some research on reality TV shows, I started reading the comment board on Jamie Oliver’s new show Food Revolution. The postings were full of kudos for Jamie, and his concept. But there was one writer who took offense at ABC’s inclusion of a banner ad for fast food restaurant Wendy’s.

Does ABC have a commitment to a particular show’s brand? Should they be aware of the ads that run on their site?

It’s an interesting question. On one hand, you have the advertiser. They’ve paid for the placement, and they should get what they pay for. On the other hand, you have a show which is promoted with extreme images of human obesity, and direct references to the unhealthiness of fast food. Does it make sense to display a banner ad of a national fast food chain on the home page of that show?

What do you think?