December 17, 2007

Letter from an Irate Mother:

This is a copy of an email I sent out Saturday morning to our local NBC station, Youth for Human Rights, and Qubo (the group responsible for Saturday morning cartoons on NBC).

To whom it may concern,
My name is FarmWife & I am the mother of 4 young children. My oldest child is 6 & my youngest is 5 months. We regularly watch Qubo on WTWO channel 2 out of Terre Haute, IN. My children love the shows. I'm thrilled that you are showing Veggie Tales, 3-2-1 Penguins, & Larry-Boy along with other educational and uplifting programs. The programming is something I've felt safe letting them watch, until today.

While watching Dragon (which is obviously geared towards very young children) an ad from Youth for Human Rights came on. On the TV was a terrified man bound & blindfolded, tied to a post with a knife to his throat, guns pointed at him, men screaming at him. My six year old ran from the room, ears covered, nearly in tears. My four year old & three year old were horrified. I was shocked. I thought some how the channel had been changed & they were now watching something they're not allowed to watch. When I realized the commercial was for a youth organization & they were still watching Dragon, I was livid.

I understand the need to get children involved at a young age. I support the efforts of groups fighting against the atrocities shown on the commercial. But I cannot sit silently by & allow this to be viewed by my young children. Why is it necessary to show something so graphic & unsettling during a show Rated TV-Y? Can it not be left to parents to introduce this subject matter to their children when & if they find it appropriate? I don't know if I've missed this commercial in the past, but I now know I can't let my kids watch your shows any longer for fear of what they'll see during commercial breaks.

I'm sending this email to the local station we were watching, the group that produced the show we were watching, & the group responsible for the ad. I ask that you all reconsider what ads you show & more importantly, when they are shown.

Thank you.
FarmWife


This morning I received 2 emails from the local station. The first read:

I am researching to see if this was a psa run locally, or nationally.

And the second read:

Thanks to your complaint we are contacting the Ad Council for some new Public Service Announcements. The spot you saw was also provided by the Ad Council, but we agree we can find some spots that are more "kid friendly".

Both were from the EVP/COO of Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
It's good to know someone was listening. I'll let you know if I get a response from the other two organizations.

8 comments:

conleyclan said...

you go girl!!! chances are you guys weren't the only ones that had problems with that commercial but you may have been the only one to say anything it is important that we stand up for this sort of thing and it seems like you were very well spoken in your letter, not ugly but very straight forward! i think you did a great thing!

Ang said...

good for you..I hope the oldest is ok..hugs..Interested to hear final result.

emily said...

Good for you! That is absolutely wrong and good on you for speaking up.

SmurphyJaco said...

Dear Irate Mom: Your recent post regarding inappropriate airing of a PSA during children's programming. I'm writing to assure you that the spot you viewed was not produced or distributed by the Ad Council. We will be contacting the station to correct that misinformation as well. The Ad Council has a long tradition of producing PSAs that aim to make a measurable difference in society. You may visit our website at http://www.adcouncil.org to view all of our campaigns.

tvchris said...

FarmWife:

I am the promotions director at WTWO. I am ultimately responsible for what happened during the children's programming. Having a daughter of my own, I am very sensitive about what my little girl sees, so please understand that it was an oversight on my part that the PSA you saw was ran when it was. Secondly, I know it's already been posted here, but I just want to reiterate that the spot was not an Ad Council spot, it actually came from Youth for Human Rights. Most of their spots are extremely kid friendly, with excellent moral messages... the one that made it to the air just happened to illustrate their point in a little more graphic way.
Again, let me apologize for what happened. I assure you we will do our best to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Chris O'Neal
Promotions Manager
WTWO-TV / WFXW-TV

Tracie said...

This is Tracie from Youth for Human Rights International. Thank you for your important post and alert to this situation. As Mr. O'Neal put it we have other ads that would have been appropriate to air and I have no idea why anyone would air that one during childrens programming. We have 30 ads covering different rights. As we cater to young people from as young as your children to their 20s our PSAs range in their graphic content. If you go to www.youthforhumanrights.org you will see the rest of our ads and find better suited ones such as PSA #1. Thank You. - Tracie

conleyclan said...

i love the comments from the station folks i like how you have gotten the attention of everyone! that is awesome

Kork said...

Wow Farmie! Look at what you did! I am so proud of you for speaking up! We watch Qubo every week, and Capt Chaos LOVES his Veggies and Penguins...but I would absolutely DIE if something like that was on when he was watching...we apparently missed it in our attempt to get some Christmas shopping done, and let the TiVo do the work of recording Veggies for us.
I am glad to see that the station and associated folk are stepping up on this one.