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Monday, July 2, 2007

State Farm/ The Home Depot Remove Ads from BET's "Hot Ghetto Mess" Website

Folks roll on over to the “Hot Ghetto Mess” site at BET.com Notice anything different? The banner ads have disappeared ( temporarily)! I know at least two advertisers contacted BET and their ad agencies and told BET to take their ads off of the Hot Ghetto Mess site. At 5:02, the State Farm ad was still up, fifteen minutes later, the banner ads have been removed and so has the ad in the middle of the page. So we made somebody at BET work today. If advertisers didn’t want their advertising on a web site promoting the show, imagine who will be willing to purchase ads for the actual show.

On July 25th I will be watching Hot Ghetto Mess and will report back to you which corporations are so morally bankrupt that they would be willing to fund the foolishness. Home Depot and State Farm offered their explanation for how their ads managed to end up next to a racist blackface cartoon. Basically they say BET screwed up.

I hope they will reconsider advertising with BET in any capacity. The advertisers are justifying their relationship with BET by saying that they are purchasing ads on specific shows or in specific sections of the site. Notice State Farm is still advertising on the SOB page.

More African Americans watch TNT, TBS or the CW on any single night than watch BET. There are lots of alternative ways to reach African Americans than BET. I am including the e-mails I received from Home Depot and State Farm. Baby steps folks. Baby steps.

Let this be a message to YOU BET! When “ Hot Ghetto Mess” premieres in July, any corporation whose ads appear on this show is going to hear from us!

The Home Depot is currently purchasing advertising within specific areas of BET.com. As a results of a technical issue with their ad-server, BET inadvertently placed our ads within areas of their site that we did not specify. This issue has since been resolved. We thank you for your inquiry.
Christi Tricoli, Media Manager

To: What About Our Daughters.org
From: Edward C. Gold, Advertising Director, State Farm Insurance Companies
Subject: Hot Ghetto Mess on BET
It has come to our attention that your What About Our Daughters blog has noted that State Farm is a sponsor of the new Hot Ghetto Mess program on BET, which does not premiere until July 25, 2007.
As a company, State Farm takes great care to be sensitive to the TV programming for placement of our advertising messages. We continually review all of the media where our advertising airs to ensure it meets our company’s objectives and guidelines. We have reviewed the content of this program, which we just heard about, and we will NOT be airing any State Farm advertising during this program on BET. We have also directed our agency to have BET.com remove any State Farm advertising to appear on the web page on BET.com describing this program.

As you may be aware, State Farm is proud to be a member of the Family Friendly Programming Forum. This is an association of national advertisers encouraging the entertainment community to provide more family friendly programming options. More information about this association is available online at www.familyprogramawards.com.

We would appreciate it if What About Our Daughters could remove the name of our Chairman and President, Ed Rust Jr., and his address from your blog site, so that we do not receive any additional calls or emails regarding this program.
Please feel free to forward any further concerns to my attention.

Best regards,

Thanks The Home Depot and State Farm, but y'all can't trust BET to take care of your brand. This WILL happen to your companies again because BET executive have no internal moral compass as demonstrated by a show called "Hot Ghetto Mess." Clearly BET Executives are contemptuous of their own audience and you should reconsider doing business with a company with no moral compass. Let me assure you that I don't know many people over the age of 25 that still watch BET so you are probably incurring a significant risk of being associated with offensive television with far less reward than you think. I can give you plenty of alternative websites where you could reach large numbers of African Americans without incurring the risk that they will put your brand next to some foolishness.