It's funny how two diametrically opposed forces can see the same action as detrimental to their causes. A few weeks back The Procter & Gamble Company decided not to sponsor Dr. Laura Schessinger's new TV program. This decision sent debris flying out of two different dawg pounds.
Dr. Laura has had some rather unpleasant things to say about the gay and lesbian community, as you probably know. So they didn't want the world's largest packaged goods manufacturer to support her views with their advertising. Those "bad people on the right," to borrow a line from Morrisey, felt P&G should stand up to these heathens and run the ads. Focus on Family, a conservative group led by Dr. James Dobson, spearheaded the campaign to save Dr. Laura's ad revenue.
The P&G brain trust opted not to the run the ads, of course, but for reasons that let both factions down. They didn't want the hassle. A pretty respectable position when you think about it.
In her column in AdWeek, Debra Goldman pointed out that P&G did what all good advertisers do: Flee controversy.
Focus on Family was crushed, and when they weren't looking, they got kicked in the head before they could stand up. However, the gays and lesbians had the wind knocked out of their sails, tool. P&G didn't take a stand, those dirty names! They just didn't want to deal with any of these people. A couple of disappointing financial quarters, Durk Jager out, A.G. Lafley in, sliding stock prices ... apparently this multinational corporation has a few things higher up on its list of priorities.
Of the two, the gays and lesbians, at least, can punch a fist in the air. They got their way, albeit for the wrong reason, in their opinion.
Focus on Family has to know, though, that Dr. Laura will march on, and the group has gone on to point out that P&G was advertising on two "racy" (sucky) MTV shows, Tom Green and Undressed. P&G quickly pointed out that these shows were already on a list of shows they did not want their ads to run during, and there was a mix-up at the (former) music channel. No hypocrisy here. Just staying consistent.
However, the Focus on Family gang must be out protesting during daylight hours and not watching the "soaps, two of which are produced by P&G: Guiding Light and As the World Turns. These shows teem with adultery, theft, evil twin-ism and all sorts of un-family like happenings.
A spokesman from Focus on Family told the Associated Press the group simply wanted consistency. No ads on Dr. Laura, then no ads on Tom Green and Undressed, that's all. But it's OK to produce controversial shows? Or are soap operas so part of the junk culture that they go unchallenged?
To the adult mind, of course, soaps are harmless. That argument can be extended to MTV's programs and, yes, to Dr. Laura as well. People's choice of laundry and cleaning products shouldn't be a factor in determining a show's success.
As a somewhat reluctant political and social southpaw, I feel the free market should decide. Dr. Laura is a horrid human being, but she isn't hurting anyone. Sticks and stones ... . Whether she's on the radio or not, her views will go on, and there will always be gelatin heads who believe her.
Is Dr. Laura correct? She's on the radio. OK, so she stole her husband from another woman, and she let an old boyfriend take nekkid pictures of her. And is the kind of behavior portrayed on Undressed really the best avenue to go down? No, I mean apart from the bad acting. And Tom Green. Canadians are a funny lot. Tom Green must have emigrated there, and then came back to the U.S.
Focus on Family, the gays and lesbians and all the rest will still hammer us because they have something really important to say, you know?
Do any of these people have time to do laundry?