March 1996 – The networks reduced the amount of violence they show compared to the same time period of a year ago, while increasing the amounts of sex and profanity, according to the latest monitoring report published by the American Family Association.
For the viewing period from October 29-November 25, 1995, the top sponsors of network, prime-time sex, violence and profanity were Benckiser (Calgon, Jovan, Stetson cologne), MCI (long distance phone service), and Sony (Columbia Pictures and Sony electronic products). Only two companies which were in the Dirty Dozen a year ago remained on the list during the monitoring period, MCI (number 2 in the present list, number 9 a year ago) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (number 12 currently and number 10 a year ago).
Scores are based on the average number of sex, violence and profanity incidents sponsored per 30-second commerical aired.
Of the 340 programs monitored, 94% contained either/or sex, violence and profanity. The study showed that over a period of one year during prime-time only, viewers saw 16,822 sex incidents (88% were depicted outside marriage), 26,195 profanity incidents (growing increasingly more explicit and crude), and 9,412 violence incidents. Sex was up 31%, profanity up 26%, and violence down 30%.
Unilever, which announced they were changing their advertising policy after AFA began a boycott of their products, disappeared from the Dirty Dozen list. “Although Unilever still appears on NYPD Blue, because of the company’s overall improvement, we have dropped the boycott,” said AFA president Donald E. Wildmon.