New York -- The newly formed Forum for Responsible
Advertisers met here for the first time last Monday, when 10 advertisers discussed ways to
get more "family-oriented programming" on the air. But they decided on little
more than to meet again.
The FRA concept was the idea of Andrea Alstrup, vice
president of advertising for Johnson & Johnson. Alstrup used her speech before the
Advertising Women of New York this past June to urge other advertisers to use their clout
to get "more choices [on the air] that are acceptable family viewing."
Press inquiries to Alstrup after last week's meeting
were redirected to J&J's public-relations department.
The 10 advertisers engaged in "general"
discussions, but they did not issue a subsequent statement on the results of the
gathering, a J&J spokesman said. They did agree to hold a second meeting, which had
not been scheduled as of last week, he added.
Among the other major ad spenders with representatives at
the meeting were Coca-Cola Co., Ford Motor Co., Procter & Gamble Co. and Sears,
Roebuck & Co.
When asked if the FRA is looking at cable networks, as well
as broadcast-television networks and syndication, the J&J spokesman said that while
cable was "not excluded," the loose-knit group is putting its greatest emphasis
for now on the TV outlets where they spend the most money -- namely, the broadcast
networks and syndication.
In her June speech, Alstrup singled out Comedy
Central's South Park, as well as the syndicated Jerry Springer Show and
NBC's Friends, as unsuitable for family audiences.
Still, the J&J spokesman emphasized, "They're
not talking about taking shows [like South Park] off the air." After all, he
noted, most of the clients already support a mix of adult-oriented and family-friendly