When it comes to Skins, Clearasil is pouring it on.
The pimple-fighting folks are refusing to pull its ads from the controversial MTV show despite similar moves by other sponsors amid protests from ticked-off parental watchdogs and lawmakers.
Here's the skinny:
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The conservative Parents Television Council has been urging members to call their state attorneys general demanding an investigation into whether the cable network violated child porn laws by airing the series.
The organization pointed to a New York Times story reporting that execs at MTV parent Viacom called an emergency meeting out of concern that "some scenes...may violate federal child pornography statutes" by showing "visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct."
The PTC has labeled Skins, which premiered two weeks ago, "the most dangerous program ever" for children (now they're really gonna watch it!) and is pressuring advertisers to stop supporting the show. So far, Taco Bell, General Motors, Subway, Foot Locker, H&R Block, Schick, Proactive, L'Oréal and Kraft are among the brands that have yanked spots.
Since no laws have been broken, however, Clearasil is rebuffing the PTC and is sticking to its game plan.
"Clearasil buys advertising time in blocks and the networks slot our ads wherever they have free time," the company said in a statement to E! News. "Clearasil does not endorse any specific show on any network, nor the personal views or opinions that may be voiced on such shows. Clearasil also does not pay for product placement in any shows."
An MTV insider compared the current hubbub to the uproar following the debut of Jersey Shore, but told E! News that, like that controversy, network execs expect the Skins protest to eventually simmer down and studios, video game companies and other networks will continue to advertise on it.
In any case, the channel doesn't appear likely to back down from broadcasting the racy series anytime soon.
"We have an ongoing dialogue with our advertising partners about the best fit for them across our diverse lineup of shows," the network said in a statement. "We know that not every show works for every advertiser. That said, we are confident that Skins will continue to connect with the audience it was created for and that advertisers will take advantage of the opportunity to reach them."
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