Subway joins growing ad exit from MTV show "Skins"

Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:41pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sandwich chain Subway on Monday became the fifth company to distance itself from MTV's controversial new series "Skins," pulling its advertising from the teen show after a campaign by a parents TV watchdog.

A representative for Subway told The Hollywood Reporter the company would not be running its ads on Monday's second episode of the drama series about misfit teens who dabble in drink, drugs and sex.

Subway did not immediately return calls seeking confirmation. The 1.3 million-member Parent Television Council had urged its members to contact Subway by email and letters to the chain's thousands of outlets around the United States.

Fast food chain Taco Bell and chewing gum maker Wrigley have also decided to pull out of the show in the past few days, saying "Skins" was not a good fit for their brands.

General Motors and tax preparation firm H&R Block have also disassociated themselves with the show, saying that ads that ran during the January 17 premiere of "Skins" were run by mistake.

The moves follow a call by the Parents Television Council (PTC) last week for the U.S. government to open a child pornography investigation into the show.

Several of the actors on "Skins" are under the age of 18 and the PTC said the content of the show could violate U.S. laws on the sexual exploitation of minors. U.S. child pornography laws forbid the visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The TV show, based on the British series of the same name, attracted 3.3 million U.S. viewers on its January 17 debut, the vast majority between ages 12 and 34, according to TV ratings figures.   Continued...

<p>Danny Flaherty (top) and Britne Oldford, cast members from the MTV drama "Skins" in a scene from the series. REUTERS/MTV</p>