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Parents Television Council releases lists of best and worst advertisers

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General Mills, parent of numerous well-known and wholesome food brands including Cheerios, topped the 2009 list of best sponsors of television programming compiled by the Parents Television Council.

For the past five years, the PTC has annually released lists of television's "best" and "worst" advertisers. The PTC lists are based on data it collects about which advertisers sponsor family-friendly programming and which tend to support shows with objectionable content, including violence and sexual themes. The lists do not reflect the quality -- or lack thereof -- of the actual ads themselves.

Joining General Mills on the best advertisers list are Clorox, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co., Walmart, Payless Shoes, Colgate Palmolive, J.C. Penney, State Farm Insurance and Kmart.

Yum Brands!, which includes the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell fast food chains, topped PTC's list of the 10 worst advertisers. Also making the worst advertisers list were General Motors, Sprint Nextel, Unilever, Verizon, Apple Co., Burger King, DirecTV, Chili's restaurants and AT&T.

PTC said advertisers on its "worst" list are more likely to support questionable programming such as "Skins," which the organization said contains "some of the most graphic sexual content and drug use involving teens" seen on television today. The PTC was founded in 1995, as a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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