By Jackie Burrell
Friday, January 30th, 2009 at 11:32 am in Parenting Issues.
If you’ve spent any time lately watching pro football with your family, you’ve probably fielded some distinctly uncomfortable questions from your tots, including “Mommy, what’s erectile dysfunction?” That’s because 40 percent of the ads aired during pro football games are for Viagra and Cialis.
And the rest aren’t a whole lot more kid-friendly, says Common Sense Media, the San Francisco-based family advocacy group. CSM has spent the last four months watching football games – well, not the games themselves, the 5,000 ads and innumerable network promos that air during the games. And their findings do not exactly gladden parental hearts. We’ll summarize ’em here, then urge you to go on over to the report itself for more info and tips on what you can do about it.
One out of every six ads contained messages and visuals inappropriate for young children.
More than 500 involved scenes of murder, gunfire, explosions and other violence.
Some 300 included booze and 80 had scenes involving strippers, hookers or other sexual activity.
And 45 percent of those violent and/or sexy ads were network promos for their own television series. (So if you don’t want your toddler watching Little Grey and McSteamy doing it in the on-call room, you’ll want to avoid football. Who knew?)
Grown-up football fans may be a fantastic demographic for these types of ads, but it’s not just grown-ups watching. Common Sense even quotes President Barack Obama saying, “I wasn’t too happy with ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs popping up every 15 minutes whenever I watched a football game with my daughters in the room.” If you’re irked, annoyed or outraged too, Common Sense is launching an e-mail campaign to let NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his colleagues know.
So what are your thoughts? Do you watch football with your kids? Is this an issue for you? And have you gotten the erectile dysfunction question?