HIV/AIDS: TV Station Refuses to Air Prevention Ad During Daytime
A San Francisco television station has refused to air an HIV prevention ad during daytime programming, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. KGO Channel 7 claims that the 30-second spot, which was purchased by the San Francisco Department of Health from the advertising agency A Better World, is "eye-popping," and has offered to run the ad after 10 p.m., "when most children have gone to bed." According to the Chronicle, the ad, with the slogan "HIV stops with me," depicts "bare-chested men and a male-to-female transgender" encouraging HIV-positive men and women to disclose their HIV status to partners and to practice safe sex. The ad agency wanted to run the ad during the afternoon Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah shows, which researchers have discovered are popular with the ad's target audience -- gay and bisexual men. Les Pappas, president of A Better World, said that the station's decision was "homophobic," adding, "We've done research to find out what our target audience is watching, and they're watching Rosie and Oprah. We don't want to be relegated or banished until after 10 p.m. ... We made a proper, effective TV commercial that's not going to offend anyone." KGO director of programming services David Metz denied any prejudice, saying, "We do this with every spot. Everyone gets looked at and evaluated to make sure we're treating everyone the same. ... [B]ut we have to take into consideration the fact there are people out there who may be watching with their 6-year old or 7-year old child or grandchild." The ad was purchased by the health department for $345,000, after a recent health department study showed that the HIV infection rate among gay men in the Bay area is climbing (Heredia, 9/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.