A video advertisement on CBS’s Web site that “mashes” material from the iconic “Frosty the Snowman” Christmastime cartoon with two of the network’s comedy series is offensive and should be pulled, media analysts told FoxNews.com.
The video ad, “Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman,” takes authentic dialogue from CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men” and dubs it on top of the cartoon classic, changing well-known “Frosty” scenes to contain suggestions that the snowman and his friends visit a “strip club.”
The mash-up also discusses Frosty’s “porn collection” and contains repeated mentions of prior sexual conquests.
The ad is intended to promote the network’s upcoming broadcasts of “Frosty the Snowman” and “Frosty Returns.”
Colleen Raezler, a research assistant for the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center, said the spot is “highly inappropriate,” and improperly uses a Christmas special to promote an adult-oriented comedy.
“The ad introduces children to the idea of strippers and pornography,” Raezler told FoxNews.com. “The people in charge obviously thought this was funny, but the question they should ask themselves is if this is appropriate, not if it’s funny.”
Raezler said the advertisement is another example of popular culture “pushing the envelope” on everything.
“It’s sexing up Frosty,” she said. “It really drives home the idea that nothing is sacred anymore.”
CBS did not reply to messages seeking comment.
But television blogs characterized the video as “hilarious.”
“You’ll never look at ‘Frosty the Snowman’ the same way again,” read a post on tvshark.com.
A post on NYMag.com said the magazine doesn’t take “any issue” with CBS’ decision to create the mash-up video.
“Sure, it’s a little bit on the dirty side and definitely not for the kiddies, but in our eyes, [‘How I Met Your Mother’ star Neil Patrick Harris] and Rankin/Bass [Productions] are two great tastes that definitely taste great together,” the post read.
Not so, says Bob Peters, president of Morality in Media, adding that officials at the Federal Trade Commission should be concerned about the promotion.
“CBS is doing much the same thing that alcohol and tobacco companies have done in the past — namely, using imagery in advertising that would naturally attract children in order to market an adult product,” Peters said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “Legal matters aside, it should go without saying that CBS TV ought to be ashamed of itself — using an animated Christmas season setting, complete with young children, to chat about strippers, whores, pornography, sadomasochism, sexual promiscuity, and more.”
Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group based in Los Angeles, said the advertisement was reprehensible.
“It’s either ignorance or arrogance, but I can’t imagine the folks at the once-Tiffany network should think this is OK,” he told FoxNews.com. “Someone had to write it and someone had to approve it. It speaks to the decisions that are being made at CBS these days.”
Winter also called for the advertisement to be pulled, characterizing it as the outcome of the network attempting to do “everything they can to be offensive rather than creative.”