Tuesday, August 14, 2007


There was no shot of a woman bearing her breasts, nor of a man dropping his draws. No, it was a picture of an anthropomorphic pig that gave some of our network and cable system colleagues palpitations.

A clever and entertaining condom commercial for Trojan was recently deemed too controversial for airing—even during late night programming—for Fox and CBS networks, and a few cable systems around the country, despite the commercial’s pro-social message of, “Evolve: Use a condom.” Apparently, the networks and a few systems didn’t think their viewers were “evolved” enough.

“It’s so hypocritical for any network in this culture to go all puritanical on the subject of condom use when their programming is so salacious, “said NYU Professor and media critic Mark Crispin Miller. But, go puritanical they did, despite research that indicates that only one in every four sex acts in the United States are protected by a condom, a rate of unsafe sex rivaling those in under-developed countries.

The message of the Trojan ad was clear: being prepared makes you more desirable, particularly when it shows you’re thinking about your own health and the health and safety of your partner. Anything less, makes you a pig.

Killing the condom ads ignores all of the data on the effectiveness of regular condom usage in reducing the rate of STDs, and the transmission rate of HIV. It also closes the public’s eyes to the fact—well documented by the CDC and UNAIDS—that one out of every two new HIV infections are occurring in the under 25 year old age group.

Trojan’s creative team chose not to sugarcoat the truth like the spider in Charlotte's Web did in promoting another pig. It’s just too bad they didn’t pitch it as a joint commercial with Budweiser, where the beer-swigging pig could have been told to “drink responsibly.” That sure would have made everyone feel a lot better.


Tom Donohue said...

This is a great source! Excellent job!

Tom Donohue
Founder & Executive Director
Who's Positive

Neonta said...

Great topic! How we can even attempt to address this HIV/AIDS issue without properly advertising/advocating condom usage? Abstinence obviously isn't working. I look forward to upcoming opportunities to blog even more. Thanks NMAC for giving us this channel.