PTC Releases Annual Ranking of Best and Worst TV Sponsors

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

November 19th, 2012

via press release:

PTC Releases Annual Ranking of
Best and Worst TV Sponsors

Asks Holiday Shoppers to Support Family-Friendly Advertisers

LOS ANGELES (November 19, 2012) – Just in time for the official start to holiday season, the Parents Television Council® released its annual list of the “Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers” for the 2011-2012 television season. Companies were ranked based on the content in the television shows they chose to underwrite with their advertising dollars. “Best” companies primarily sponsored programs with positive, family-friendly themes while advertisers that earned the “worst” label commonly appeared on shows that included harsh language, violence and sexual content.

“This week marks the official start of the holiday shopping season and businesses will quickly find out whether consumers support their brands. Our list of the best and worst TV advertisers is meant to serve as a guide to holiday shoppers who support family-friendly advertisers, knowing the impact those companies have on today’s TV programming and, by extension, on our entertainment media culture,” said PTC president Tim Winter.

“If you’re in the market for an automobile this year and want to show support for family-friendly companies, both Ford and Nissan landed on our ‘best’ list, sponsoring programs like, ‘Who Do You Think You Are,’ and ‘Minute to Win It,’ while Toyota appeared on our ‘worst’ list for programs like, ‘Grimm,’ ‘Awake,’ and ‘Smash.’

“If consumers are considering where to shop, Wal-Mart and CVS landed on our best list, but Target secured a spot on the ‘worst’ list. Other friendly brands include Procter & Gamble (Ivory and Oil of Olay soap) and General Mills (Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, and Hamburger Helper).

“For fast food chains, this year Wendy’s exhibited more corporate responsibility than McDonald’s, which has shown an unfortunate slide from the family-friendly ranks. When reaching for a soda, we found Coca-Cola supported far more family-friendly programming than PepsiCo.

“Other companies like Brinker international – owner of the Chili’s restaurant chain – which appeared on our ‘worst’ advertisers list as recently as 2009, turned a positive corner this year by committing to wholesome, family-friendly content. Brinker’s improvement in its advertising policy corresponds with solid financial results, corroborating recent research by retail behemoth Wal-Mart that the performance of advertising dollars is increased by 18% when associated with positive programming as opposed to negative programming.

“As they do every holiday season, businesses depend on every dollar and this is a chance for consumers to vote with their wallets and support brands in line with their own values. PTC encourages every shopper to reward those companies who have consistently supported positive, family-friendly content throughout the year,” Winter concluded.

Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers

The PTC’s list of the “Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers” is based on each company’s prime time broadcast television ad buys during the 2011-2012 television season. Using PTC’s trademarked traffic light ratings system, each company was assigned a point value based on the number of green, yellow and red light shows it sponsored. Special weight was assigned to advertisers that demonstrated a corporate commitment to sponsor family-friendly programming. To see each prime time show’s rating, please visit

1. Ford
2. Procter & Gamble (Pampers, Tide, Crest, Downy, Febreze)
3. General Mills (Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Old El Paso)
4. Nissan
5. Wal-Mart
6. Clorox
7. CVS

8. Brinker International (Chili’s, Maggiano’s)
9. Wendy’s

10. SC Johnson and Coca-Cola (tied)

1. Yum!
2. Toyota
3. Metro PCS
4. Sprint
5. Red Bull
6. Target
7. McDonald's
8. CKE Restaurant (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s)
9. PepsiCo
10. Apple

To compare this ranking to 2011, click here.

The Parents Television Council® (®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members and 56 chapters across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

  • DW

    yeah dont go buy a Toyota because they ran ads on grimm. lol. i’ll take this group a little more seriously if they had come out and wanted rush Limbaugh out over offensive comments. dont care if your left or right but if your whole group is out to get rid of shows that use offensive and sexually explicit words and you say nothing , your a sham.

  • Me myself & pie

    Yay! Now I know how to spend my money, by which I mean to spend it on all the companies PTC listed as their worst.

  • Terry

    Here’s a thought: rather than try to pressure advertisers for sponsoring shows containing adult content FOR ADULTS, how about parents make responsible decisions on which shows their children watch?

  • herpderp

    Don’t buy products from those companies because they advertise during specific shows?. The PTC is the most pathetic lot of people I’ve ever seen.

  • Christian

    I’m guessing they find Smash objectionable for its inclusion of gay characters. Sad. And while I only watched 3 episodes of Awake, I don’t remember seeing anything offensive. I wonder why they chose to single out those shows? And do they really sit there and jot down every advertisement they see during primetime? That’s frighteningly dedicated of them.

  • Simon Jester

    Any advertiser on PTC’s worst list is one I actively WANT to support!

  • Dan Isett

    Actually, Christian, the PTC’s concern about Smash had nothing at all to do with gay characters. The red light rating it was given was due to the sexual content of the show.

  • The Watcher

    Hey, those people have an opinion and every single one of us also has one.

    At least I can find mine without using both hands.

  • SVU: Fringe Division


    Because Awake is a police procedural with death, or maybe it was that episode where Jason Issacs and his wife went skinny dipping in the college pool and they *almost* showed above his knees and below his bellybutton when he was running around.

  • abriel650

    @Me myself & pie
    That’s exactly what I was thinking as I read this.

  • Carl

    I won’t hold it against any of those companies that they ended up on the Best list. Its not their fault.

  • Dan S

    Imagine the shock for the PTC on shows like Sons of Anarchy & American Horror Story.

  • rehabber

    So the shows I watch have ads on the worse list, kind of like if you bite into something and it taste good, spit it out because it is bad for you. lol Besides I don’t watch commercials.

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