LOS ANGELES: The Parents Television Council, which claims one million members nationwide, on Tuesday named General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler and Nissan among the nation's 'worst' advertisers.

'Worst', in this context has nothing to do with the content of ads (although some probably deserve that epithet). Rather, the PTC is referring to the "sexually graphic, violent or profane" content of TV programs on which the companies choose to advertise.

The PTC, whose credo is "to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media," produces an annual listing of shows that incur its approval and/or wrath.

This year, there's a pat on the back for Coca-Cola, Ford, and Campbell's. And a kick in the crotch for the above automakers, Amex and Apple.

PTC president L Brent Bozell III, an unabashed rightist advocate, is the grandson of Bozell Worldwide.co-founder Leo Bozell. "There is good news and bad news. We compliment those who made the best but some [on the worst list] need to take responsibility," Bozell3 intoned as he descended from Mount Olympus.

Warming to his theme, he continued: "I've been told by several network executives that advertisers make them do it [run unsavory content]."

Wearing the haloes are . . .

    1. Coca-Cola Enterprises
    2. The Campbell Soup Company
    3. The Walt Disney Company
    4. Ford Motor Company
    5. Cingular Wireless
    6. Altria Group [Kraft Foods, Philip Morris, et al]
    7. DreamWorks
    8. Schering-Plough [Claritin, Dr. Scholls, Nasonex, et al]
    9. Darden Restaurants [Olive Garden, Red Lobster, et al]
    10. Sears Holdings
While flouting their tridents and barbed tails are . . .
    1. General Motors
    2. Toyota Motor
    3. Volkswagen
    4. DaimlerChrysler
    5. Target
    6. GlaxoSmithKline [Zyban, Valtrex, Flonase, Imitrex, et al]
    7. Nissan Motors
    8. American Express
    9. Apple Computers
    10. Circuit City Stores
GM spokeswoman Ryndee S Carney kept a straight face. The company, she said, pursues a corporate policy regarding media selection and placement "that is aimed at ensuring GM advertises on programming consistent and compatible with the image of our brands and our business needs."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff