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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Proctor & Gamble: Concerned Corprorate Citizen or Artful Dodger?- Sets up 1-800-WE-HATE-BET

Have y'all ever been watching the news of some big conference or event where there are protests and the police set up a special protest area about 2 blocks away surrounded by barricades for the good folks to express themselves?

As some of you know, a few weeks ago, The Parents Television Council released a damning report tracking BET and MTV's afternoon programming. They tracked ever expletive, every violent act, every scene with sexual overtones. In other words, they documented what we already knew, its basically soft porn int he afternoon for the kiddies while you are at work paying for the cable that is corrupting the minds of the tots.

Well anyway, you don't get to be one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world by being slow on the uptake. P&G in anticipation of some public outrage at the fact that they appear to be the largest funder of the Regime of B*tches, Booty and Bling, has set up a special 1-800 number for you to log whether you think they should "change" their advertising on BET or continue with their current funding of the War on Black Women, Men, and Children. If you want to participate in the poll, here are the instructions:

Proctor & Gamble Contact Information

Please call (800) 331-3774.

Then, press 1 for "English". You will then be prompted as follows:

"Thank you for calling P&G. If you are calling about our advertising on BET & MTV, please press 1."

(press "1" here)

The message will then say,

"We appreciate your taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts with us. For your convenience, we've set up this quick and easy way for you to register your opinion. If you would like us to change our advertising on BET & MTV, please press 1. If you would like us to continue our current advertising on BET, please press 2."

(Press "1" here)

You will then hear - "Your opinion has been counted and is being shared with the appropriate people in our company. For more information on our company, please visit us at www.pg.com. Thank you." END OF RECORDING!

Now this appears to only work M-F ESTduring regular business hours because apparently the computer does not work overtime. The line is now open 24/7- there was a "technical error."

This right here is ingenious. Why? Because Proctor & Gamble can't lose. They've managed to direct any ire we might have directed at their board of directors or executives and channeled it into a tidy 1-800 number. They don't have to expend human resources logging your dissatisfaction and they look proactive. All that being said, I think you should call and ask your friends to call, but I do have some questions regarding whether or not this information is going used and in what way will it be used. I didn't know corporate responsibility was based on polls.

My questions are:

  1. When does the poll end?
  2. Who exactly are the "appropriate people" that the information will be released to?
  3. Is there going to be any independent judge of how many people called in to say yeah or nay?
  4. Just how many votes are required for P&G to vote BET off the island?
  5. When P&G says change, do they mean merely shift their ads to other periods of programming during the day?
  6. When will Proctor & Gamble be releasing what if any decision it will be making based on the poll?
  7. Why do you need a poll to tell you what the responsible thing is as it relates to running ads in between videos talking about "gushy" ( according to the PTC this means a lubricated vagina---who knew?")
If P&G ends up changing or creating any guidelines as it related to BET and MTV, General Motors and McDonald's would almost have to follow because who wants to be left "out there."We'll keep you posted. Hat Tip to the folks at Industry Ears.