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AFA online initiative makes fighting back easy

AFA Journal, January 2002 edition

While there’s safety in numbers, there’s also strength in numbers. That’s the principle behind AFA’s newest campaign to try to clean up the television landscape.
AFA online initiative makes fighting back easy.

Last year AFA started and in hopes of fusing together the reservoir of viewer indignation created by objectionable television content with the ease of instantaneous communication by E-mail. Concerned mothers and fathers simply register at either website, and commit once a week to E-mail their concerns to network, advertising and TV station executives.

By the thousands, people are getting involved, and the campaign appears to be having an impact. Chrysler, for example, pulled two ads that raised viewers’ ire. One featured a dialogue between two men who were neighbors. While one of the men was hinting to the other that he would like to swap vans for the afternoon, his neighbor thought he was referring to swapping wives, and heartily agreed. The other ad featured a mother, driving the family’s Chrysler Concorde sedan, hinting to her daughter that her sibling was conceived in the back seat of the vehicle.

“This is the same type of sexual humor employed by sleazy network sitcoms,” AFA President Don Wildmon said. “It’s hard to imagine why two adults copulating in the back seat is a selling point for Chrysler.”

An ad from Sears also stirred up controversy. It showed two 13-year-old boys playing video games at a friend’s house, talking about the third boy’s mother, saying “She’s hot” and “She’s a babe.” AFA spotlighted the ad through, and after running it for only one week in mid-January, Sears pulled the spot.

7Up dumped an ad after AFA asked participants to contact the soda company. In the spot, a man is shown walking down the street, saying he is the new spokesman for the company. In order to distinguish himself he says he needs more “exposure,” and begins taking off his clothes. Finally he disrobes completely. The crowd around him is shown aghast, staring at his genital area (obscured by onlookers) as the man exposes himself.

In each case, the company targeted by E-mails has claimed that the ads in question were scheduled to end anyway.

“Companies always try to spin these sorts of things to make them look like they are a coincidence – and they may very well be,” said Wildmon. “But we say this: coincidences happen when people get involved.”

To either learn more about this important AFA campaign or to join the effort, click on or, and follow the on-screen instructions.