The Parents Television Council is making efforts to get McDonald’s to stop running commercials during Fox’s “Family Guy,” claiming that the show is not family-friendly.
Robert Gibbs, McDonald’s new communications chief as of June, has been forced to respond to a series of claims that the suggestive and sexual language of Seth MacFarlane’s cartoon is not suitable for McDonald’s customers.
The Council has singled out McDonald’s as one company whose advertising does not cater to the correct audience, reports The Chicago Tribune.
One board member, Gary Lesser, a lawyer and Democratic donor from Florida, sent a letter on June 11, citing the show’s TV-14 rating and inappropriate humor as a reason to completely alter advertising schedules in an effort to change the company’s decision to air advertisements during “Family Guy” episodes.
In the letter to Gibbs, he wrote, “How can a company that sells Happy Meals to children use its media dollars to sponsor jokes about sexually assaulting children?”
The Parents Television Council’s page urges people to take action by writing on their page, “Is it any wonder that this once-trusted family brand is losing customers – especially families – when they are paying for content like this?”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the Parents Television Council singled McDonald’s out as the top sponsor of sexual content, suggestive dialogue and foul language, based on its research of broadcast television programs in May 2014.
Just one month ago, TheBlaze reported that PTC President Tim Winter wrote in a statement, “The maker of Happy Meals is underwriting jokes about statutory rape, date rape, and other sexually exploitative content on a prime-time broadcast television cartoon watched by millions of children.”
That same month, the group started campaigning to U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl. PTC created a website form in which concerned parents can send Wahl a form letter to convince her to modify the company’s philosophy from “Billions Served” to “Billions Heard”.
The letter ends with the line, “Content like that seen on Family Guy does not reflect well on the McDonald’s brand, and continued association with this kind of content will make me think twice about doing business with McDonald’s.”
Despite the group’s incessant efforts to quell the fast food company’s relationship with the popular sitcom, many disagree with the claims.
Peter Shankman is a customer service and marketing consultant for the fast food chain. He said, “When a company is down like that, everybody is going to find something to give them [a hard time] about.”
Shankman suggested to The Tribune that the company should focus on more pressing matters, such as stemming its decline in sales.
“There is a huge user base, a younger user base, that watches ‘Family Guy’ and eats McDonald’s,” Shankman said. “If you stop reaching those people you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.”