Fox, CBS Reject Trojan Condom-Promotion Commercial, New York Times ReportsFox and CBS recently rejected a television commercial for Trojan condoms, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the commercial, which premiered Monday night, features women at a bar surrounded by pigs. When one pig goes to the restroom and returns with a condom purchased at a vending machine, he is transformed into an attractive man. The end of the commercial carries the message: "Evolve: Use a condom every time."
Fox in a letter to Trojan said it rejected the ad because contraceptive "advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy." CBS in a rejection wrote that the ad was not "appropriate" for the network "even with late-night only restrictions."
Both networks accepted Trojan's previous campaign, which promoted condom use because of the possibility that a partner could be HIV-positive. The Times cites a 2001 report about condom advertising from the Kaiser Family Foundation that found 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."
The ad will run on ABC, NBC and nine cable stations, including MTV, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. In addition, print ads will appear in 11 magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Glamour, and on seven Web sites. All of the ads highlight a Web site trojanevolve.com, the Times reports.
Jim Daniels, vice president for marketing at Trojan, said the ad is more expensive than any previous campaigns, but he declined to give a specific amount. Daniels said the company's goal is to "dramatically increase" condom use in the U.S. "The 'Evolve' ad does a nice job of being humorous, but it's also a serious call to action," Daniels said, adding, "The pigs are a symbol of irresponsible sexual behavior and are juxtaposed with the condom as a responsible symbol of respect for oneself and one's partner" (Newman, New York Times, 6/18).
NPR's "Morning Edition" on Monday reported on not-for-profit social marketing groups that promote and distribute condoms in Ethiopia. Andy Piller, manager the social marketing group DKT International, said annual condom distribution in Ethiopia has increased from about 250,000 when the group launched in 1991 to about 75 million to 80 million today. However, only 5% of Ethiopians say they use condoms, "Morning Edition" reports. DKT and similar groups use marketing techniques -- such as scented condoms, billboards and television ads -- to encourage condom use. Sally Cowal, senior vice president of the social marketing group Population Services International, said the organization sells condoms rather than providing them at no cost because people are more likely to use products for which they have paid (Wilson, "Morning Edition," NPR, 6/18). Audio of the segment and expanded NPR coverage are available online. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.