Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why the Fire David Letterman Movement is Targeting Johnson and Johnson Today, Monday June 22

If you read the corporate credo prominently displayed on the corporate web site of Johnson and Johnson, you might have guessed that they would have been the first major sponsor to drop advertising on the David Letterman Show.

You would be wrong, though.

Embassy Suites, Southwestern Airlines, and Hellman's beat them to the punch.

And Johnson and Johnson has maintained a steady advertising presence on Letterman between June 10, when Letterman made his offensive comments about Sarah Palin and her daughter, and this past Friday, June 19. Johnson and Johnson has continued to advertise three key "family friendly" products during this period: Listerine, Aveeno, and KY Brands.

Here's what the company calls its corporate credo:

We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services...We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well.

Apparently, Johnson and Johnson considers their steady advertising on David Letterman part of being responsible members of the community.

The offensive comments were made by Letterman on June 8.

According to the website Watchful Raven, Johnson and Johnson advertised on Letterman on June 10.

It appears that Mr. Letterman's comments didn't bother the advertising executives at Johnson and Johnson, because they advertised on his program the next day, Thursday, June 11, and the day after that, Friday, June 12, and continued advertising on the day of his second "heartfelt" apology, Monday, June 15.

Here's how Johnson and Johnson responded to emails this past week asking the company to stop advertising on Letterman:

"Johnson and Johnson takes a firm stand regarding the quality of television programming in which its commercials appear and supports the National Council for Families and Television...

With the help of our advertising agencies, a conscientious effort is made to screen all programs prior to broadcast. As a result of our screening, we have frequently withdrawn ads from television shows in the past and we will continue to monitor programming in the same manner in the future...

Your concern will be directed to network personnel. However, the most effective comment on programming is direct action by viewers. Therefore, we would urge you to communicate your feelings directly to the network... "

If that response doesn't sound enough like a corporation passing the buck, consider the significance of the national organization it cites as the group it supports -- "The National Council for Families and Television". Sounds like that must be a large organization working tirelessly to maintain standards on television, right ?

According to this website, that might not be quite right.

It's a little organization with an annual budget of $350,000 run out of a storage room in the Los Angeles office of the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency. OK, I have no proof that it's run out of a storage room, but it's hard to find an actual website for the organization, so you make your own conclusions.

Better yet, send me the link for the website, and I'll post it here.

Here's how the one website I could find with any information about the organization describes it:

The National Council for Families and Television is an advisory board comprised of television producers, writers, and programming executives; advertisers; educators. [It] aims to enhance the quality of life for families and children by positively affecting the creation and uses of primetime television entertainment. [It] conducts seminars, symposia, and invitational weekends where television creators meet with experts to discuss issues that are important to the American family.

This agency, in its stated purpose, is only focused on primetime television, which is earlier than the Letterman Show. So the executives at Johnson and Johnson are sending out generic emails to concerned citizens that represent little more than a condescending pat on the head.

All of the above goes to explain why is going to focus its energies today, Monday, June 22, 2009 on sending a message to the executives at Johnson and Johnson.

Here's the message:

We are asking Johnson and Johnson to make a public statement on Monday, June 22 that the company is stopping ALL advertising on the Late Show with David Letterman immediately until CBS has held Mr. Letterman to the same degree of accountability to which the company held Don Imus.

Until Johnson and Johnson makes such a public statement, our message to them is clear. We won't buy their products and we will make a point of going into every grocery store in the country and telling that same message to the manager of the local grocery store.

Here's the phone numbers and email addresses.

Main Number: 1-888-222-0182 (Johnson and Johnson Healthcare Products)
Kristina Chang, Public Relations, 973-385-4370,
Steve Schonberg, Edelman PR, 212-704-4494,

Drop me a line here and let me know what you hear back !


Our campaign appears to be working today. Johnson and Johnson's website is now experiencing "technical difficulties."

Here's what the site says now:

" is experiencing technical difficulties. Please try the site again later. We apologize for any inconvenience that you may experience as a result of this service disruption."


Ted said...

I live in the Philippines and just emailed this short note to J&J. By the way ... there was a delivery failure to the addressee.

"We are asking Johnson & Johnson to make a public statement on Monday, June 22, that it is is stopping ALL advertising on the Late Show with David Letterman immediately until CBS has held Mr. Letterman to the same degree of accountability to which the company held Don Imus.

Until Johnson & Johnson makes such a public statement, our message to you is clear. We won't buy your products and we will make a point of going into every grocery store in our part of the Philippines and telling that same message to the store managers.

What Letterman said was despicable, disgusting, and J&J's continued sponsorship of his show makes it clear the company condones what he said."

Ted & Lhyla

Alex said...

1st) If Palin can accept his apology then why can't you?

2nd) If this "offended" her so much then why was she not "offended" during her VP campaign when both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brian made similar comments about her then 17yr old being pregnant.

3rd) Why not go after Leno and Conan also?

4th) your lack of free debate will not allow you to post this, right?

Alex said...

I stand corrected, you did post it.

I still don't understand why you guys singled out Letterman when Leno and O'Brian made similar jokes.

And FYI, I'm not a Letterman fan, or American. I'm just confused how you guys find this such a big deal

Anonymous said...

In regards to the comments made on Letterman's show. He referred to flight attendants as looking slutty and linking Sarah Palin to that look. The fact that he made such degrading comments about women is not good. By the way, has anyone ever seen David Letterman's wife? I think he secretly would like a wife that looks like Sarah Palin after seeing her. Also, his wife was pregnant and he didn't marry the mother of his child until recently. Where does he got off making cracks about anyone being PG before marriage? It doesn't matter if he was referring to either of the Palin daughters. He was totally out of line. He is disgusting, and so is CBS.

Bob & Patty said...

I just mailed my request to J&J.
I also had a delivery failure to stephen.schonberg.

Matthew Weaver said...

My letters:

I find Johnson & Johnson’s continued advertising on Letterman and CBS inappropriate considering Letterman’s offensive behavior toward the Palin family in both jokes and Top 10. That CBS continues to air his show without interruption says they agree with and support his offensive views. That Johnson & Johnson continues to advertise on both says that, contrary to its stated family friendly responsibility, it is instead interested in sponsoring, facilitating, and supporting this offensive behavior.

Until Johnson & Johnson stops advertising on Letterman and CBS, my family and I will stop buying the company’s products and will take every opportunity to encourage others to do so as well.


nancy said...

Hmm I posted last night but it's not here I wonder why? I wrote to J and J, told them censorship is unAmerican and if they drop their ads, we're done. Thanks for letting us know in advance of yor plans.

Beth Miller said...

This was NOT just an attack on a 14 year old girl------RAPE is NOT A JOKE! I don't care how old the woman is!

MLWELZ said...

Sent an e-mail to PR person. WOW AVEENO is a staple for me. I begged them to lose Letterman.
J&J is a standby product for all babies. Terrible image for them to take on to keep Dave The Perv Letterman.

ajvenom said...

No names were mentioned in the joke and it was just a joke. I would rather ban J&J than Dave.

Palin's need to go aways and leave everyone alone.


Matthew Weaver said...

How curiously "convenient". The J&J web site contact us page says:

" is experiencing technical difficulties. Please try the site again later. We apologize for any inconvenience that you may experience as a result of this service disruption."

EastKyEMT said...

What's really sad here is that Letterman messed up and said something that was taken out of context as to who it was about and all of a sudden he is the Evil One, but every day you can hear jokes about God, Jesus, and Chritianity in general and most folks don't bat an eye. I don't condone Letterman's choice of material. He has, in many instances, crossed the line of "jokes" and landed smack dab in the middle of "Mean". But when shows poke fun at God or Jesus or Christians just because of what we believe no one seems to care (with the exception of the American Family Association and it's supporters). Shame on Letterman, but shame also on all those who think this is worse than Christian bashing. And yes, I know that if this gets posted that I'll probably get the usual "you're stupid for what you believe" replies, but I think I can handle it because the hate always takes the same path and I know I can sidestep it.

Carla said...

It is about time to put an end to disgraceful comments on national television and out.
We are losing the sense of its wrong and what its right. We are leaving in a society that accepts offensive jokes, accusations, bulling, call names - where is the respect? Where does begin my right and end your right? We are crossing a very thin line, which it is okay to call anyone, anywhere, at anytime anything you want, even if it is not fair.
In all schools in America, it is punishable by suspension or even removal if you use the "N" word, but it is okay to call anyone Faggot, Gay, Bitch, Son of…and the list goes one. Why all the connotations are not prohibited like the “N” word is?

Anonymous said...

To those people who are saying that Letterman was either talking about or advocating rape, you obviously are not intelignet enough to understand the English language.

Was Letterman's joke, in poor taste?


Did he and his staff not do a littel research to find out that Bristol Palin was not with her mother at the game?


Did he owe an apology not only to Palin and her but also to all women and to his generel viewing audience?


Should he have apologized sooner?


But in no way did he advocate rape or sex with a minor.

And the term "knocking up" is NOT rape. Given the general meaning of that low-brow term, Bristol Palin was "knocked up" by her then boyfriend and no one has ever accused him or rape.

In uneducated circles you will probably hear men say that they "knocked up" their wives, and their wives will sometimes use that same low-class term.In no way could any intelligent person claim that those women were raped.

The insinutation that Letterman made was that Bristol Palin, having already shown a complete lack of judgement in getting pregnant by her boyfriend (and now trashing him after they broke up) might just be trying to "trade up" (not that A-Rod would be considered "trading up" except for his money, since he is a worthless POS who has no respect for women) by getting impregnated by a wealthy and famous person. Is that joke offensive? Yes. But it is not firing material (since Bristol Palin has already made a joke out of herself.)

Anonymous said...

I am nither a fan of David Letterman or a critic. I am typically asleep long before th show airs and late night talk / comedy shows never did appeal to me (Sorry Johnny).

That said, armed only with the information provided by news accounts of the incidents fueling this debate I must add my voice not in favor of removing Letterman but rather advising the sponsors that any withdraiwl of sponsorship as a result of this witch hunt will result in the "other side" boycotting your products.

Funny how this works, eh?

Does no one realize that 1) Neither Letterman or any other host writes his or her own jokes? Go after the writers if you must but please... 2) If you don't like the views or the comedy, turn the show off! It is within your right.

Why must it be that your views are imposed upon the rest of us who frankly could care less about what is said in joke or satire.

Not funny? Turn it off.

Offensive? Turn it off.

Haven't you got something more important to worry about? The rest of the world certainly does.

I put this discussion right up there with the grup that formed to protest Crayola's decision to retire three colors from their crayon collection a few years ago.

Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Get a life, seriously.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Leahy,
I browsed the site and think u should add a link to the CBS website User Feedback form:

Since the form is used for feedback about CBS shows, I have shared the link with all of my friends so that we can bombard CBS with comments about Letterman's disgraceful comments about women and girls.

The form is simple to use and is just another way we can let CBS know exactly how we feel about this situation.


Anonymous said...

I dont know why you care that much, its not even your right to judge other people, that should be left for God... Also, if you have a problem with Letterman, just dont watch his show and get over it. His joke was taken out of context. Even if it wasnt, he should be able to joke about whatever he wants, whether its right or not... its freedom of speech

Anonymous said...

You advocate censorship here and then claim to be good Americans. Do you not see the hypocrisy? I suggest you view Real Time with Bill Maher's June 12th episode. you have created a backlash. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Get a hobby!!! You have way to much time on your hands!! Losers!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't like Letterman's joke, but I feel better about him after seeing the anti-Letterman web sites and blogs.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand how this has even reached this level. Unfortunately, it seems more that people are upset with his politics moreso than the jokes. I'm a Republican and am embarrassed to be associated with those who are responsible for this complete waste of time. Letterman has made jokes about many a celebrity...both Dems and Reps. Every tv host has. The only people who "assume" the joke was about raping a 14 yr old girl are the ones who want it to be aimed at her to give themselves some sort of agenda. He did apologize and admit the jokes were in bad taste. She accepted it apology publicly and yet you completely refuse to believe it was what it was. Not only that, firing Letterman is also firing his staff and other behind the scene employees who will now be added to the unemployment list. They don't all make what Dave makes. I will completely refuse to use any products or services from any company who decides to buckle to this insanity and will encourage everyone I know to do the same and support any organization who shares my views. I hate when my country shows it's level of stupidity. Nice to see I defend my country and it's freedom of Speech and expression. Thank God I live in a land where, if someone admits they are wrong and no harm was done (and seriously people, please share with me exactly what resulted from the jokes) the apology can be accepted and life return to normal again. If you people think that is a serious issue...go where I have to go for a living.

Bill S., MSgt, USAF, Osan South Korea

Mike P said...

Dear Kristina Chang, Public Relations, 973-385-4370,

As a father of 2 young daughters ages 14 and 12, I am personally disgusted with David Letterman. He has taken what used to be an enjoyable light hearted show and made it into a political forum in which he is constantly making his own political opinions known. As a loyal customer of several of your “Family brand named products” I ask that you stop supporting this man and his anti Family views. In the mean time I will stop purchasing you products and I will tell all of my friends and family to do the same.

As a successful woman in the business community you too should be appalled by David Letterman’s crude joke about a 14 year old girl being “knocked up” by a 30 something major league baseball player. I strongly request that the Johnson & Johnson family reconsider there support of this program and discontinue running advertisements immediately, as this would be the right thing to do considering it is a “Family owned” company.

Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

I just found out about the group at and am amazed so many people have little else to occupy their time than to cause trouble over a joke. I am sorry that some sponsors are as ignorant as those at this website! Don't let loss of sponsors direct the content of The Late Show. I see this about freedom of speech and that is something everyone should fight for. Our right to speak freely is being eroded daily by the government, society and organized religion. Although a small gesture, I will now boycott those sponsors who have pulled their advertising. Please don't pull Letterman! I've tuned into David for over 20 years...I can handle the loss of SW Airlines, Hellman's, Olive Garden, Johnson & Johnson, etc., I cannot handle the loss of Dave!

l. martinez said...

Is this not why we live in America? Freedom of Speech.
Palin has proven to be less that stellar herself!

Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian said...


Thanks for all your work on this. A post at HillBuzz made me realize how important it was to fire David Letterman to show that there are boundaries that must not be crossed when attacking people who disagree with you.

I was amazed last week that I had to explain why what Letterman did was so over the line that he must be fired.

My post today explains why what Letterman did is called "mobbing." If we do not get Letterman fired, we have served notice to our best and brightest people that if they enter public life not only will they be exposed to the most vicious personal attacks, so will THEIR CHILDREN. Our best and brightest are likely to find better opportunities to pursue.

I hope you and your readers will check out my post on mobbing. It is more helpful to persuade advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Letterman when you can explain why what he did MUST NOT be allowed to blow over, why it was NOT trivial and why your reasons for getting Letterman fired are so important that you are going to keep at it until he is.

Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian blog

Anonymous said...

How insane are both sides of the political spectrum. You all are an embarrassment to rational Conservatives. I can't believe that this is the most important thing to worry about. It's sickening to watch people get behind this... All of you, including Palin, sicken me.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Seriously, you think that a company would spend their precious advertising dollars to ENDORSE someone? Was Business 101 the early class at college? Perhaps that is why you appear to have missed it...people advertise to GET THEIR MESSAGE TO THE AUDIENCE-J & J couldn't care less about Letterman and this whole "scandal" that you people are trying to stir up...all they care about is reaching his (probably increased) audience with their product pitch. CBS has been through this before, and Letterman is not about to be fired over this. Comopanies like J & J know that no matter how many people claim that they will stop purchasing products, they still will. Mom's will still buy babywash and Band-Aids, because they are the most brand loyal of people. Do you REALLY think that a person needs to lose his job because of a bad joke? Do you REALLY think that Letterman endorses rape? Do you REALLY believe that he was even referring to the 14-yr old daughter (rather than the unwed mother daughter). I doubt it. LET IT GO, PLEASE...I am so sick of seeing this drama splashed all over the place. Get a grip, get a life, better luck to Palin and her party in the future. It was a joke...Letterman has been telling 'em for years. And IT WAS FUNNY. So admit it and move on.

Anonymous said...

I find Dave Letterman's comment to be an insult not just to the Palin family ,not just to flight attendants,but an insult to the morals and decency of us all. I am weary of watching decency ,integrity and our values be ignored, on a daily basis. All of a sudden ,this kind of sick comedy is "cool". That adjective ages me. I was born in 1947.Grew up in the 60's.Didn't think a lot could shock me at this point. But I am finding that now the public is tuned to a sicker kind of entertainment,than I would have ever thought possible. It's a "funny"thing to make molestation jokes in reference to our children and harass families. Some say ,well this was after all just a joke. Wonderful. That's their opinion. But how sick will the next joke be ,if this one is accepted?I will never watch Letterman again.His apologies,if you can call them that, mean nothing.Imus was taken off the air. Letterman needs to go.I will boycott Johnson and Johnson and encourage my friends and family to do the same.

Ken said...

Anyone who sponsors David Letterman supports statutory rape jokes about teenagers. It is time to hold the real sponsors accountable for funding such filth on TV. Quit purchasing products from these filthy companies that finance this out of control behavior from David Letterman.

Charlie said...

Here's the reply I got today (sounds like they are continuing with advertising for now):

"Thank you for contacting Johnson & Johnson. It is always important to hear from our customers and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

Johnson & Johnson takes a firm stand regarding the quality of television programming in which its commercials appear and support the National Council for Families and Television.

With the help of our advertising agencies, a conscientious effort is made to screen all programs prior to broadcast. As a result of our screening, we have frequently withdrawn ads from television shows in the past and we will continue to monitor programming in the same manner in the future.

Your concern will be directed to network personnel. However, the most effective comment on programming is direct action by viewers. Therefore, we would urge you to communicate your feelings directly to the network.

Again, thank you for your interest in Johnson & Johnson."

Elrod Racing said...

To the people who just don't get it...

David Letterman was one of the character assassins that went after the Palin family the day after she was introduced to America. Leno and Conan made innocent jokes. Letterman made angry, intolerant attacks.

Dave is an unhappy over-the-hill "fraud" who is threatened by "outsiders" like Sarah Palin. He knows he's just a former weatherman turned aging talked show host, who is dependant on a team of writers to crank out the tired old "Top 10 List" everynight.

His bused-in audience is also controlled by a trigger-happy Applause Sign Operator, who presses that button after every bad joke. Very weird if you listen for it. He even started ripping off Leno this year with his "Small Town News". Very stupid show and he knows it.

His unnecessary rape joke was the last straw. And why isn't A-Rod outraged for being called a pedophile?

jrl503 said...

Was wondering if 'Nancy' felt the same way about Imus and censorship? Letterman has been unrelenting in his attacks on the Palin family. These attacks were never designed to be mild or good natured humor--they were designed to go for the jugular and destroy her in every way so that she would no longer have political viability. Unfortunately most of his audience is shallow, unsophisticated and get their "news" from comedy hacks--they don't bother to get real information and statistics. They view the world through liberal sound bytes that they are being spoonfed through mainstream media. They are single minded and lack diversity in their ranks.

Gregg Beaty said... bounced back immediately.

Gregg Beaty/

Kathy said...

I am shocked at all the people who claim that the people who find this important "have too much time on their hands" and yet you have enough time to not only follow the blogs but even to comment. Freedom of expression is beautiful. I find what David Letterman has to say about people unfair, cheap and crude. Most of his ire is directed at conservatives/republicans and the honest truth is if this were Imus and he said something about an all black female basketball team, there would be public outrage. Woops that DID happen and the man was fired even though the day after the incident he APOLOGIZED!

He went on a radio show with Al Sharpton he said he was sorry not included in a mocking joke but a humble face to the ground apology. And he was fired. How is that NOT censorship if what we who disagree with David Letterman are doing the same thing?

You don't have to come to these websites to rant your little opinions. But you obviously have more than enough time on your hands for it.

Herc said...

Contacted Johnson & Johnson today
06/22/09..Did same: 06/15/09
1st e-mail sent...Then:
Unable to contact:
Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Best Regards, Hercy

John D. Hayman said...

Do you idiots realize how much crap Johnson & Johnson makes? You won't be able to boycott them for a week without breaking down and buying one of their products. This is an empty threat, and I hope the advertisers realize how small and pitiful your sick little group is.

BTW- I was posting nice, rational comments before this week, hoping this would all die down. This is the nuttiest group of people I have ever followed. I hope your children are not as stupid as you are... and I hope they believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

SalemCat said...

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

Lous Cipher said...

You've convinced me....I will only support Advertisers who ADVERTISE on The Late Show with David Letterman

Anonymous said...

I've seen comments here about Dave and his wife and having a son out of wedlock.

One comment is that Dave secretly would want a wife that looks like Sarah Palin rather than his wife, implying his wife is ugly. Well, that just shows you how shallow that commenter is. Dave dated his wife for a very long time. He obviously loves her for what she is, not what she looks like. It seems as if the person who wrote that comment about Dave's wife likely does not respect women.

And, that commenter obviously hasn't seen much of Dave because Dave does make fun of himself and his own family.

Anonymous said...

jrl503 says..." most of his audience is shallow, unsophisticated and get their "news" from comedy hacks...."

Nothing could be further from the truth. I get my news from watching various sources, including even Fox. I read a lot of news on various internet sources. I have regularly watched Bill O'Reilly for the past 7 years, even though I disagree with much of what he says.

I get my comedy from several late night comedians.

I'm sure some only get their news from conservative talking points from Fox News who, during the Bush administration, sent talking points to Fox, and Fox repeated those.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Imus:

I didn't think Imus should have been fired. I don't listen to people like Limbaugh very often at all, but I seriously doubt if Limbaugh is calling for Letterman to be fired. Limbaugh, as much as I cannot stand the guy, believes in free speech to the extreme.

Imus had a history of making racial and other insensitive remarks. He promised he wouldn't make such remarks again, but he did when he talked about those women basketball players.

Again, I do not think Imus should have been fired, but there is no comparison between him and Letterman.

Anonymous said...

Dave is a "fraud" and is "threatened" by Palin????

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Yes, Dave has made many jokes about Palin. It is clear he does not like her politics. That is the reason for this fire Letterman group, not the joke.

But, Dave is like many, many Americans who doesn't like Palin's politics. Many conservatives said Palin should have dropped out of the race. A number of conservatives said they supported Obama, and one of the reasons cites was their dislike of Sarah Palin. And these same conservatives are intelligent ones....Kathleen Parker, Christopher Buckley, etc.

Many newspapers endorsed Obama, again, citing Palin as being one reason. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama....the very first time in its 161 year history it ever endorsed a Democrat....they had great concerns about Palin.

I find it really, really amazing and somewhat sad that people idolize this woman. Honestly, people really think she had good foreign policy experience because she could "see Alaska?"

This movement to fire Dave is not about his "rape" jokes; it is about disliking his politics.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that the sponsors that are most affiliated with David are Listerine, KY and Aveeno. If you've seen pictures of him and his wife, I can imagine why they are so prominent. My husband and I stopped watching Letterman years ago. He is no longer funny and it amazes me that he's still on tv. He's no Johnny Carson and at least Johnny knew when to retire. Letterman forgot the first rule of showmanship. Go out while still on the top of your game. He hasn't been that in years. Keep boycotting his sponsors but also refuse to give CBS any ratings. The management will eventually realize soon enough how not firing him is costing them money.