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  • Shoot-out at the BBC Corral

    Saturday night, I was very excited to see a concert starring Robbie Williams on BBCA. I am a fan, and I thought the children would enjoy his show. He has great energy, and as long as they blur out the naughty bits when he invariably drops his trousers, the kids were going to like it.

    Unfortunately, at the first commercial break, we changed the channel. At approximately 8:10 PM, they showed a commercial for a series shown on BBCA that contained a graphic (and noisy) clip of two people in the throes of passion. I was more disappointed than shocked, since I had given up watching Cash in the Attic (an antiques auction show aired just before lunch every day) because of commercials similar to the one shown during the concert.

    Sunday, I emailed BBCA to complain about the salacious content of the commercials shown prior to 9 PM. I pointed out that they were inappropriate for children during family-friendly programming.

    Today, I got this letter(I added the bold for emphasis):

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us, regarding BBC America's
    on-air promos. Please understand that BBC America is a digital cable
    channel programmed exclusively for adults. We do not broadcast
    children's programming, nor conduct any marketing efforts to attract

    However, please rest assured that BBC America takes the opinions of
    viewers, such as yourself, very seriously, and as such, we will
    forward your remarks on to the appropriate department(s).

    We thank you again for your comments.



    Viewer Relations
    BBC America

    What I don't understand is this:

    Why does BBCA discriminate against adults with children?

    Are we not worth the effort to cultivate as loyal viewers? In recent months other family-friendly reruns such as Ballykissangel and Monarch of the Glen, have been cast aside in favor of edgier programming. They now offer new shows such as Mile High, which details the sordid lives of the randiest flight crew to ever fly the friendly skies, and No Angels, which details the sordid lives of randy nurses of a hospital who also spend a lot of time drinking and fist-fighting in uniform.

    The graphic commercials for those programs and others like them are littered throughout the day's programming. One morning during a home-decorating show, I had to explain to my 10-year-old why two grown men would be together and naked on an otherwise empty airplane thanks to a commercial for Mile High. I've also had to explain the meaning behind the line: "I wouldn't have cared if you'd bagged the entire football league, just not him." (from Footballers Wives, shown during Cash in the Attic)

    Shock value appears to be the main concern of the programmers at BBCA. This is unfortunate because there is a massive potential market being swept aside, nay scoffed, by the programmers at BBCAmerica.

    Until changes are made, I will be blocking BBCAmerica from my children's access, and I urge you to do the same. If you choose to block the channel, please email BBCA and explain why. Perhaps if more people complained of the bad timing of these commercials, perhaps BBCAmerica will begin to show respect to the American family by replacing these commercials with edited versions containing less sex and violence.


    Swangirl said...

    Hey, Soo! I have a similar beef with a commercial that's been popping up on a lot of stations at all times of the day. I can't remember the name of the company (it's Blue something, naturally).

    Well, this ad involves a couple getting ready to go to some concert or show and they end up making love. Some of the shots are of the couple literally crying out in ecstasy.

    The kiddo doesn't arrive until April but it really bugged me to see something so blatantly sexual on in the middle of the day! I can only imagine what ads will be like when he/she is old enough to figure it out.

    When I dogsit for my sister, I watch a lot of BBCA (love Cash in the Attic and the schmaltzy Bargain Hunt) and I noticed that their programming has gotten incredibly trashy. It's a shame.

    Have you ever noticed that the women on Footballer's Wives are so heavily made up they look ugly?

    Soo Mi said...

    yep. Sad fact is, I used to live in England, which is why I was so upset at BBCA's programming, and the women there come in two varieties: natural or warpaint.

    Also, in England, they observe something called a 'watershed,' which means the stations censor themselves until 9 pm, and after that, it's literally 'anything goes.' I didn't mind, because kids shouldn't be up that late. If they are, you're probably not a parent who cares what's on tv anyway.

    However, because this is America, and we're all sex-crazed trash hounds apparently, there is no watershed, BBCA does not censor itself, and the letter clearly states the channel really doesn't give a monkey's nuts.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Soo,

    Totally with you on the BBCA trashy commercials -- can't help thinking they're churning out this crap for American audiences. Not even sure if those things air in England. Coupling, on the other hand, though certainly not for kids in any way shape or form handles sex in a wry, intelligent way we Americans never seem to see in programming made for our market.

    A little Britword nitpick -- she could have "shagged" not bagged all those guys.

    Acedia (Lynda)