CBS flush with new ideas for PSA

Network promotes colonoscopy sweepstakes

CBS is promoting a colonoscopy sweepstakes in primetime.

As part of its CBS Cares public service initiative, the network is offering a four-night stay in New York to one lucky winner. Oh — and a free colonoscopy, to be performed by Dr. Paul Miskovitz, a leading gastroenterologist and expert on colorectal cancer.

The tongue-in-cheek (pun intended) spots feature over-the-top “Late Show With David Letterman” announcer Alan Kalter, along with Broadway star Patti LuPone, lying smack down on a hospital bed.

In other words, they don’t look like your normal, snooze-inducing public service announcements But the contest is very real.

“We’ve done a lot of PSAs surrounding getting a colonoscopy, and all the things Katie Couric has done,” said CBS Corp. planning/policy/government relations exec VP Marty Franks, “but there was also a feeling from the medical community that we ought to try humor.”

Franks said CBS has gotten some blowback from people who don’t like the idea of such topics being freely discussed on TV. And the Eye has been cautious about when the spots air (they’ve been seen during such sitcoms as “How I Met Your Mother” and reality shows like “The Amazing Race,”). But otherwise, the reaction has been “terrific,” he said.

“We don’t want PSAs to be part of the background noise,” Franks added.

The contest itself is open to U.S. residents between the ages of 40 and 79 only. Take that, younger viewers!

Anyone entering the contest because of the free trip to New York ought to first brush up on what exactly a colonoscopy entails. Warns the network: “The hardest part is the preparation the night before when you drink a laxative.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety