1969 Censorship

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Matthew Snyder November 8, 2001 History of Media Arts II American Television Censorship in 1969 1969 was a tumultuous year in the United States. Astronauts landed on the moon for the first time, violent street demonstrations were being held relating to the civil rights movement, and 97% of U.S. households had Television sets. For the first time, Americans were seeing brutal images of the world on their TV sets, including the Vietnam War. Censorship was becoming heavily involved in commercials, entertainment shows and politics.

In 1969, many rules were being challenged. One of which was commercials. The National Assossiation of Broadcasters Television Code provides guidelenes for advertising on television. It states that, "Advertising messages should be presented in an honest, responsible and tasteful manner." When deciding whether or not to broadcast a commercial, the station should consider "the charastistic of the medium, its home and family audience, and the form and content of the particular presentation."

If there is "good reason to believe it would be objectoinable to a substantial and responsible segment of the community, the commercial will not be put on the air." Although the advertising of feminine hygiene products was banned at the time, Alberto-Culver Co. had a feminine deodorant spray that they felt the media was ready to see advertised (in a careful and tasteful manner). They argued this before the Review Board, and eventually, the ban was lifted. The ban was then amended to say that such products could be advertised in a "restrained and obviously inoffensive manner." Specifically, the commercial must obey the following rules before it can get by the code authority: There may be no reference to sex, direct or implied. No men may appear in the commercial except in a group of people, and no particular man in that group may...



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