Microsoft Cancels Million Dollar Deal To Sponsor Live ‘Family Guy’ Telecast
Microsoft won’t be sponsoring Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show, a sketch comedy/variety show co-hosted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein. The software giant had inked a deal with FOX to sponsor the show, which was set to run commercial-free, as part of the launch of their new operating system Windows 7.
When it was first announced, Gayle Troberman, the general manager of consumer engagement and advertising at Microsoft, released this statement:
“We’re working with FOX on innovative brand integrations that will show how the power and simplicity of Windows 7 can enhance the content FOX viewers love. We have simplified the PC with Windows 7, and together with FOX, we’re simplifying entertainment.”
If only million dollar deals with giant corporations could be that easy.
Once Microsoft executives sat down for a run-through of the Family Guy show, however, they were not feeling MacFarlane’s humor. In their opinion, many of the jokes were raunchy and offensive, with topics ranging from the Holocaust, deaf people and incest.
Microsoft pulled the sponsorship deal shortly thereafter. It seems strange that they would have been surprised by the content of a show that’s been on for nearly ten years. Or maybe they saw the word family in the title and thought it was According to Jim.
A rep from the company released this statement:
“We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of Family Guy, but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand. We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlaneand Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas. We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent.”
Based on the preview clip below, in which Windows 7 is mentioned more than few times, it looks like they may have some rewriting to do. Perhaps Apple can sponsor the show at a discount.