Tuesday, June 26, 2007

on pigs, sex, and prophylactics

What Jesse knows about reproductive health policy and whatever sexual health issues are being debated this week comes from me. I relish this role primarily because, when it comes to my soapboxing, Jesse represents the Average Joe. He is the ideal audience member because his mind hasn’t been made up yet until all the facts are presented to him. Unfortunately for me, this makes him a swing voter, so this means I have to really poke and prod come election time to convince Jesse to go Dem all the way.

But I digress. Last night, Jesse and I were eating dinner and the TV was on. It’s almost always on while we eat dinner but that’s because there’s often something worthwhile on TV (read: a Law & Order episode) during supper time. That was NOT the case last night. Instead, MTV provided the background noise to our dinner conversation. That is, until the new Trojan condoms commercial came on. We both stopped talking/eating and turned to the boob tube.

Last week, Fox and CBS refused to air this commercial. Their reasoning? According to the New York Times story, Fox said that it had rejected the spot because, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.” Oh really, Fox? Since when did you become the paragon of virtue? This from the network that brought us “Temptation Island.” I suppose this means that CBS and Fox will be pulling those Viagra and Cialis ads then.

Yeah, right.

For those of you not familiar with the commercial, the ad takes place in a bar with normal looking women surrounded by pigs (presumably men), moving around the bar as bipeds. At the actual bar, a pig is approaching a woman who looks entirely uninterested. So, the pig takes a bathroom break and outside the bathroom door is a condom dispenser. He takes a condom and immediately turns into a ‘hot, sexy’ guy. This time, when the guy gives the uninterested woman another shot, she actually pays attention. The screen turns black and the words, “Evolve. Use a condom every time” appear.

After watching the commercial, I asked Jesse if he had seen it before. When he told me that he hadn’t, I asked him if he had heard about all the controversy with Fox and CBS. He asked, “What controversy?” So I explained to him why Fox and CBS refuse to air the ad. And Jesse’s response was, “But there’s nothing in the commercial about preventing pregnancy. They’re just telling you to use a condom every time you have sex. That could mean anything, like preventing STDs.” Yup, I know.

So when an Everyman (with no agenda) like Jesse gets it, I’m curious as to why CBS and Fox don’t.

See for yourself…


Madame M. said...

I'm going to blame it on my hormones, but that commercial is so sweet it made me teary-eyed.

Fox and CBS need to evolve too, I guess.

lizzie said...

madame--i think the trojan condom people would love to hear from you!

i have little hope for the evolution of CBS and Fox. after all, fox has given the world the fox news channel (a gift i wish i could return) and cbs is still airing survivor.

sunchaser said...

"Oh really, Fox? Since when did you become the paragon of virtue?"

"Temptation Island" Haha! I'm proud to say that I never caught that one!

It's possible that some of the top brass at the networks didn't like being portrayed as pigs either?