November 24, 2004
Battle for bottom line drives TV football
Did you see the Nicollette Sheridan/Terrell Owens lead-in
commercial during "Monday Night Football" last
week on ABC? They were advertising ABC's hot new program "Desperate
Housewives." In California, this show came on at
6 p.m., when young children could/would be watching.
Are there no limits, anywhere?
As the recovering economy grinds along and demands for
profits and ratings escalate, some shortsighted and greedy "deliverers
of the bottom line" will compromise values, relationships
or promises, justifying their actions as prudent and
clever economic necessities. Our newspapers are filled
with examples of rich and powerful high-level power brokers
only too willing to skirt integrity issues and ignore
long-standing expectations regarding propriety.
Rich purveyors of cultural mayhem operate unbridled with
behaviors that subvert and bankrupt the integrity standards
of society. At the same time, way too many thoughtless
members of the public nod approvingly and sanction such
actions, by simply doing nothing about it. This issue
is not simply about the stage called "Monday Night
A few questions come to mind: Who made the decision to
create the "steamy" advertisement? How does
this "sexual innuendo" commercial differ from
others that fill the airwaves, morning till night? Who
is responsible for maintaining FCC standards?
What are those standards in the first place? In this
particular case, what lifestyle is celebrated and endorsed
by this advertisement, by Terrell Owens, the Philadelphia
Eagles organization, ABC-TV and the National Football
League? When will concerned comments emerge from appropriate "watchdog" groups?
What was again lost during this pseudo-clever antic
and sexually suggestive commercial was graciousness.
ABC's relentless drive to attract viewers again used
that old dependable magnet: sex. Are we really surprised?
Without respect and discipline -- for all members of
society -- in the boardroom, courtroom, the marketing
department or the family in its living room -- society
suffers. Integrity still matters.
When organizations, large or small, fail to demonstrate
care and concern for all stakeholders, then external
forces will exert influence. When those who should
be in charge abdicate social responsibility, in commercials
or elsewhere, sanctions and regulations will follow,
multiply, and further stifle freedoms.
We continue to remind ourselves and our readers that
it should be common knowledge that free markets must
regulate themselves or governments will.