Brands support family-friendly shows in US

25 June 2010

NEW YORK: A variety of major advertisers in the US are joining forces to help support the production of more family-friendly programming.

The Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) has announced the launch of a new $10m (€8.13m; £6.67m) sponsorship fund to encourage the creation of content suitable for viewers of all ages.

While this money will initially be dedicated to broadcast network output, the group said it ultimately planned to target cable and other media platforms.

The membership base of this AFE includes nearly 40 blue chip marketers, a list that features companies such as Kraft, IBM, PepsiCo and Mars.

It is also backed by the Association of National Advertisers, the industry body, which represents brand owners that are responsible for approximately 30% of US television adspend.

Marc Goldstein, the AFE's chief content officer and former North American ceo at WPP's media unit GroupM, is overseeing how the $10m in resources will be allocated.

"It is critically important for marketers to have family entertainment options and there simply are not enough at this time," the said.

Goldstein added that while broadcasts network were "a first stop for many consumers as a primary source for entertainment", the AFE hoped "to expand to numerous platforms in the future."

This latest initiative follows on from a similar partnership established last year with Humanitas, the Hollywood organisation that honours excellence in film and television writing, related to script development.

Goldstein argued the two schemes are designed to "accelerate the process of providing marketers and consumers with more programming options."

Since its launch more than a decade ago, the AFE has played a role in bringing 20 family-friendly primetime shows to air, like Friday Night Lights, Chuck, Everybody Hates Chris and Gilmore Girls.

Data sourced from Ad Age; additional content by Warc staff