Forum seeks family-friendly TV

IBM, Coca-Cola, GM among participants

NEW YORK — The Forum for Responsible Advertisers doubled its membership Monday when, as planned, it met in New York to seek more programming options for family and children’s viewing.

The Forum, spearheaded by Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, was known to have the support of Coca-Cola, Ford Motor and Sears, Roebuck when it scheduled Monday’s meeting in early September.

Also joining these huge and expected advertisers for the two-hour discussion were representatives from General Motors, IBM, McDonald’s, Nestle and Warner Lambert.

The enlarged group collectively spends enough billions on advertising each year to warrant network attention if not reformation.

J&J spokesperson John McKeegan, who attended the meeting, acknowledged as much when he told Daily Variety: “When we talk about advertising, we’re talking about ratings — the major networks at this point.”

McKeegan stressed that the group seeks “not to take programs off the air but to encourage other programs to come on.” And while there was “a lot of concern” over the paucity of high-quality, family-friendly programming, McKeegan said the group also recognizes there is no quick fix.

Thus the discussions are to be continued at an as-yet-unspecified date.

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