Friday, February 2, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, February 2, 2001

Fox says no to Encare ad spot

Associated Press

The Fox television network turned down a commercial for a female contraceptive product that its makers wanted to run during the racy hit reality series "Temptation Island."

The show — which drew its biggest audience ever during its fourth airing on Wednesday night — features four unmarried couples brought to a tropical island to test their relationships by dating attractive singles.

One couple was removed from "Temptation Island" during Wednesday’s episode when it was revealed they had a child.

A bargain-hunting advertising representative for the spermicide Encare said he made his request for ad time on Monday, the same day the New York Times ran a story saying prices were being driven down because advertisers were reluctant to be on the show.

The request was rejected, said Al Kestnbaum, president of Chestnut Communications in Greenwich, Conn.

"I can’t believe that they have a show that glorifies promiscuity but won’t accept an ad for a female contraceptive product," Kestnbaum said yesterday, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Fox will accept contraceptive ads only if the product’s main stated purpose is disease protection, spokeswoman Julie Rothman said. The Encare commercial didn’t qualify, she said.

Kestnbaum said Wednesday’s episode would have been a particularly good one for Encare because of the couple, Taheed Watson and Ytossie Patterson, who were hustled off the island when they revealed they had a 2-year-old child together.

Cameras showed Patterson and Watson being confronted by a show producer, who called the news "problematic."

The couple was sent to another resort to work out their problems, Fox said. The network said it never would have included them if it had known about the child, whose existence was kept from producers.

"Temptation Island" was Fox’s most-watched program last week, and its audience was even higher on Wednesday night. The show reached 18.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox is considering a sequel to the six-show series after it ends later this month.

Encare has advertised on national cable networks and syndicated shows, and is about to run a commercial on one of Fox’s competing broadcast networks, Kestnbaum said. He wouldn’t name the network.

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