MTV.com is running banner ads on its website for Plan B, a.k.a. the “morning-after pill,” but some parents and advocacy groups object. As quoted in an AdAge article on the issue, one parent remarked, “For MTV to run this ad is irresponsible. There are some kids — girls and boys — who aren’t quite ready to understand all this. Between that and the way the advertising for Plan B makes it sound like you can make a mistake and have a do-over, it’s irresponsible.” Part of the issue is that, according to visitor demographics, a significant portion of mtv.com users fall below the required age of eighteen years for purchasing Plan B: %4 of the site’s visitors are between three and eleven years old, and 27% are between twelve and seventeen.
As of now, mtv.com is currently running ads and online content for shows such as “A Double Shot At Love With The Ikki Twins,” “Bromance,” “The Hills” and any number of music videos that are highly sexualized. So, wait–your kid is on mtv.com and you’re worried that they’re seeing an ad about Plan B? What about the depictions of casual sex, the objectification of women, drugs and alcohol, body image and relationships?
I am completely aware of the heated debate around sex education, early termination of pregnancies and abortion. I respect viewpoints on all sides. No matter what you as a parent believe about these issues, understand that your kids are already getting a plethora of mixed messages about sex from the media. Maybe you’re not ready to have “the talk,” but there is another kind of talk you cannot delay, and that is about what your kids are seeing and doing online, what television shows they watch, the movies they see, the video games they play, etc. I consider myself a fairly well-educated person, but even I am confused when a Plan B banner ad is running above a clip of the scantily clad Ikki Twins licking frosting off their suitors. Again–you think the ad is the only thing wrong with this picture?