'Laura' bows with full complement of sponsors
After months of controversy, protester attempts at an advertiser boycott of Paramount’s “Dr. Laura” failed to keep commercials off the talkshow during its premiere Monday.
In its home market of Los Angeles, show featured a full sked of advertisements, including pitches for Brummel & Brown creamy fruit spread, Summer’s Eve, Verizon Online DSL and local law practice Jacoby & Meyers.
The skein, whose first episode was titled “Teens & Drugs: What to Do?” preemed on CBS O&O KCBS at 3 p.m.
StopDrLaura.com, the Web site that has led much of the protest against show host Laura Schlessinger for her stance on homosexuality, was expected to have listed all of the show’s advertisers — local and national — as they preemed, but as of Monday evening, the site had not posted the list. StopDrLaura.com’s John Aravosis vowed to have a list of the top national advertisers posted by late Monday.
“We are planning on putting the largest name advertisers on the Web site and working with local activists by e-mail,” Aravosis said. “Tonight we’re picking and choosing the biggest names; we realized there are some 200 markets involved, and we can’t put 350 names on the Web site.”
John Severino, prexy of the CBS Television Stations and KCBS general manager, said that “not a single advertiser” booked to air during “Dr. Laura” in L.A. has pulled out due to pressure from protesters who have taken issue with Schlessinger’s stated views on homosexuality, which she has labeled a “biological error.”
Severino said that about half a dozen viewers called into the station to complain about the show, while at least 68 viewers called in with positive comments.
“It was really amazing how many people called to say thank you for putting her on, that they liked her on the radio, and that they will support her and buy all of her products,” Severino said. “I was surprised at that.”
Aravosis said that the Web site did claim one advertiser casualty in D.C., where a local ad for Bally’s Total Fitness aired. Bally’s Total Fitness spokesman Dave Southern said in a statement to StopDrLaura.com that the ad was part of a stationwide, non-program-specific media buy and that the company did not intend to advertise on the show in the future.
Severino said that he expects to receive feedback from other CBS O&Os that have purchased the show in the next day or two.
Additional advertisers will likely come to light, as the first day of a Monday-Friday show is not likely to include its entire ad roster.
As for the show’s ratings perf, the first indication will be overnight ratings that should be available from Nielsen today.