In his Richmond Times-Dispatch blog last week, Bart Hinkle had the following to say about advertisers' attitudes toward editorializing done by the newspapers in which their ads appear:
"...smart businessmen care far less about what the newspaper says on a given subject than they do about how many people read the paper -- about, that is, how many eyes will view their promotional material. It's in a company's economic interest to disregard what editorials say. A car dealership that yanks its own ad because it doesn't like an editorial doesn't achieve anything but sending customers to the competition."
He makes an excellent point here, but in the same vein, I don't think sponsors of TV shows are concerned about possible offensive content in those programs. As long as they can get enough members of the targeted demographic group watching their ads, they are quite satisfied. That is, of course, until some group of self-appointed defenders of public morals, like the Parent Television Council (PTC), steps in and starts upbraiding them in an effort to shame them into dropping their sponsorship of shows they (the PTC and the like) find objectionable. If the use of verbal chastisement and guilt trips fails to get the desired results, these groups will often resort to strong-arm tactics like threats to "hold them accountable." We all know what that means, don't we? In most cases, sponsors will eventually relent, despite the success of their ad campaigns on the given program(s).
I don't like much of the filth and sacrilegious tripe that passes for television entertainment nowadays either, but I think the channel zapper and off button are sufficient enough censors.