Where would the Parents Television Council be without Seth MacFarlane?
Over the last few years, the media watchdog group has turned trying to have “Family Guy” yanked off the air into a second job, despite the fact that MacFarlane’s only response has been indirect mockery. Now it’s trying again, this time by going after one of the show’s blue-chip advertisers.
This week, the PTC called on viewers to sign a letter of protest to McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), which ran commercials during Sunday’s “vile and disgusting” episode of “Family Guy.”
The episode in question featured -- in one of its signature cutaway gags -- a scene in which a pedophile yells to his mother: “Hey, Ma. We got any pictures of me when I was a kid? Maybe something in a tub?”
Sunday’s show also had Peter Griffin and his friend Quagmire kissing each other in an effort to prove to Quagmire’s prostitute wife that they are gay, only to then vomit into each other’s mouths. It’s pretty standard fare for the long-running animated series, which airs on Fox, but it nonetheless provoked the ire of PTC, which took McDonald’s to task for buying ad spots during the episode.
“Two years ago, the PTC named McDonald’s one of the Ten Best Advertisers of the Year for sponsoring family-friendly programming,” PTC wrote. “Now, the company that wants to sell your children Happy Meals is showing them men vomiting into each other’s mouths, allusions to anal sex, graphic references to women’s private parts, and jokes about pedophilia.”
PTC is urging viewers via Twitter to visit its website where it can email a prewritten letter to McDonald’s director of media relations, Danya Proud, simply by filling out a few fields and pressing submit.
“Beyond the harm you are doing to your hard-earned corporate image and brand by associating with this content, studies have actually shown that viewers are less likely to remember advertisements when they appear in programs with high levels of sexual content and violence,” the letter said. “So the question you should ask yourself is why you would waste your ad dollars paying for this kind of content.”
The letter concludes with, “If this content is in line with your corporate values, my family and I will take that into consideration the next time we’re trying to decide where to eat out.”
IBTimes reached out to Proud to ask how many of these letters she has received, but Proud did not immediately respond. Updates will be posted here when they are available.
This is by no means the first time the PTC has taken up arms against “Family Guy,” nor is it the first time it has targeted its advertisers. In 2010, the group’s president, Tim Winter, told the Los Angeles Times that he planned to go after the show’s corporate sponsors following an episode involving baby Stewie’s diaper. The group still keeps a running list of the show’s advertisers on its website.