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Trojan: Too Hot for TV

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The condom market is a $416 million a year business, so someone's buying them. Problem is, the condom makers can't buy airtime to advertise them.

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A new commercial for Trojan condoms premiered last night-but only on two of the four major television networks.

Fox and CBS both rejected the spot, which features talking pigs trying unsuccessfully to pick up women at a bar. After the pigs buy condoms from a vending machine, they magically become more desirable.

The tag line at the end of the spot says: "Evolve. Use a condom every time."

Considering that the U.S. has the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease in the western world, it's not a bad notion to put forth.

"Right now in the U.S. only one in four sex acts involves using a condom. That's dramatically below usage rates in other developed countries," said Jim Daniels, Trojan's vice president of marketing. ""Our goal is to dramatically increase use."

What are the costs of unplanned pregnancies?

A report by Saul Hoffman, Ph.D. and published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says that children having children costs taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $9.1 billion, including increased costs for health care, foster care, and incarceration.

How about AIDS?

The federal budget request to Congress for domestic AIDS care spending for FY 2007 was $13.2 billion, a 7% increase from last year.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency says AIDS deaths have surpassed those caused by the bubonic plague, which wiped out a quarter of Europe's population during the 14th century. They estimate that three million people die each year from AIDS, which they compare to 20 fully loaded 747s crashing every single day for a year.

So, why did Fox and CBS turn Trojan down?

The New York Times reported that, in a written response to Trojan, owned by Church & Dwight, Fox said they wouldn't run the commercial because, "Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy."

CBS said, "While we understand and appreciate the humor of this creative, we do not find it appropriate for our network even with late-night-only restrictions."

Take a look at what they're shielding tender young eyes from:



Fox's stance is nothing new. In 2001, the network rejected a spot for Encare, a spermicide manufactured by Blairex Laboratories, for the same reason.


Encare: too hot for Fox…

Care to hazard a guess as to what show Fox was airing for which the Encare advertisement was deemed too racy?

Temptation Island.


Temptation Island: just right for Fox...

Fox described the show as "an unscripted dramatic series in which unmarried couples travel to an exotic locale to test and explore the strength of their relationships. Once at the location, the couples are introduced to eligible singles and then separated from their partners until the final day of their stay."

Here's how two participants "tested and explored the strength of their relationships" according to the official Temptation Island website:

"On Melissa's final date, she and Jerome went to Maruba Jungle Spa in Belize. They did mud treatments and were painted. Jerome said the place was very erotic and sensual. Melissa said there were physical and emotional sparks with Jerome. They did shots together and Melissa said she didn't regret anything."



Melissa: no regrets

Shannon, another Temptation Island guest, described her experience this way:

"You could say I got to experience lust. And I also got to play with love."


Now, here's a line from the tawdry Encare commercial that was rejected:

"I love you Steve, but I'm not ready to get pregnant. Encare puts me in control."


CBS, which deemed yesterday's Trojan spot "inappropriate," didn't feel it was doing anything inappropriate when they aired an episode of the primetime show "Two and a Half Men" this past Christmas featuring Charlie Sheen singing the following lyrics to the tune of "Joy to the World":

"Joy to the world, I'm getting laid; I'm getting laid tonight. We'll light the yule log, deck the halls, and then we'll play some jingle balls. It's been a real long wait – this is our second date. It's Christmas Eve and I'm getting laid."


Not exactly a Hallmark moment.



Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Charlie Sheen


However, just a few months ago, the Parents Television Council awarded the Hallmark Channel with its "PTC Integrity in Entertainment Award." PTC says the award "recognizes those corporations and individuals who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to creating, distributing and sponsoring quality entertainment that is free from graphic and gratuitous sex, violence and profanity."

But wait-Hallmark was one of the sponsors of the "Two and a Half Men" episode in question.

Regardless of one's personal stance on condoms and birth control, the condom market is a $416 million a year business, so someone's buying them.

Problem is, the condom makers can't buy airtime to advertise them.


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