Trojan recently tried to place an ad for its condoms on the four major networks. ABC and NBC accepted the ad, but Fox and CBS rejected it. Fox’s response was particularly telling:
Fox and CBS both rejected the commercial. Both had accepted Trojan’s previous campaign, which urged condom use because of the possibility that a partner might be H.I.V.-positive, perhaps unknowingly. A 2001 report about condom advertising by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, “Some networks draw a strong line between messages about disease prevention — which may be allowed — and those about pregnancy prevention, which may be considered controversial for religious and moral reasons.”
Representatives for both Fox and CBS confirmed that they had refused the ads, but declined to comment further.
In a written response to Trojan, though, Fox said that it had rejected the spot because, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.”
So the networks either don’t think they’ll get flak, or they’re willing to take it, for promoting condom use to prevent disease. But not to prevent pregnancy. Hmm. What could account for the difference?
“There’s a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences” [emphasis added]
— Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, explaining her groups’s opposition to legislation that would promote contraception and comprehensive sex ed