The Duggar family has been at the center of controversy since TLC opted to give the family another chance with the network following a series of scandals. The Duggars’ original series, 19 Kids and Counting, was canceled after it was revealed oldest son Josh Duggar had molested his sisters as a teenager and held on to a pornography addiction into adulthood. Josh spent months in a Christian rehabilitation program and has since returned to Arkansas. However, his return didn’t stop TLC from continuing to work with the family and has since signed on to a new series called Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
The Duggar family has caused a lot of contention with TLC network advertisers and fans. Many advertisers have requested that their brand not be associated with the family, but TLC has ignored some of the requests, which has landed them in hot water with a number of brands. With few sponsors willing to advertise on the series, TLC seemingly relies heavily on web video feature ads and uses the series to promote other programs on the TLC network.
TLC seems to be circumventing advertisers by utilizing the TLC website to promote Duggar content. For example, the network has been placing full episodes of Jill & Jessa: Counting On to their website which features banner ads and in-video advertisements. This ad content is often purchased by advertisers across an entire website. Therefore, advertisers would not be specifically purchasing content on the Duggar family series but rather content on the TLC website as a whole.
Although the company may not be purchasing Duggar ad space, the network can use page views, clicks, and views from the Duggar family series to bolster spot ratings on the website. Therefore, by offering free full episodes to Duggar fans on the TLC website, the network will be able to boost ad views to brands utilizing the website ad placements.
The network also utilizing Jill & Jessa: Counting On heavily to encourage viewers to watch other shows on the network. With advertisers not backing away from TLC but rather the Duggar family, the network can utilize the ad space on the Duggar programming to highlight other shows on the network that maintain a large advertising base.
While Jill & Jessa: Counting On may not be the cash cow that 19 Kids and Counting was during its prime viewership, the network seems to be finding unique ways to monetize the series with exclusive interviews, streaming web content, and website ad optimization.
Although many of the advertisers have backed away from the controversial Duggar programs, some advertisers still view Duggar fans as a niche market and have continued to purchase ad space on the program. Starcasm has outlined the ads from the most recent series, noting that many of the ad spots revolve around upcoming movie releases. Here are a few of the ads that were featured on Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
- Walt Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-Ray
- Universal Pictures movie The Boss starring Melissa McCarthy
- Credit Repair Pros
- The Travel Channel show Expedition Unknown
- Expedia for St. Jude Children’s Hospital
- Open Road Films movie Mother’s Day starring Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston
- Oxygen show Quit Your Day Job
- Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book
Two ads in particular are somewhat funny considering the family’s past. An ad for Match.com was featured on one episode of the series. Considering the family’s original series was cancelled after it was revealed Josh Duggar was utilizing a similar website designed for married people, the inclusion of a dating website ad is comical. Another more obviously hilarious ad is the Gay For Play game show hosted by drag queen RuPaul. Considering Michelle Duggar’s notorious anti-LGBT robocall, RuPaul being featured alongside the Duggars is laughable.
What do you think about TLC continuing to air the Duggars on the network following backlash from advertisers?
[Image via Facebook/Jill & Jessa: Counting On]