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NEWS. Not a great media week for Microsoft. First, it gets publicly harangued by the press for pulling sole sponsorship of “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” because “The content was not a fit with the Windows brand.” (The live special, starring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and voice-of-Lois Alex Borstein, will still air on Nov 8, but without regular mentions of Windows 7.) Now, LA Times reporter Joe Flint has followed up with some good old-fashioned reporting to find out what does fit with the brand. The list includes:

CBS’s Two and a Half Men ($4 million on commercials), F/X’s Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me, South Park ($1 million), and yes, Family Guy ($4.6 million last season alone).

And there was that limited-edition Simpsons Xbox 360 that came out a while back…

So why the sudden demureness? Here’s the official statement from Microsoft:

“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 MacFarlane and 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.”
—Attributed to Microsoft Spokesperson

We think this is code for: “Watching Seth MacFarlane tell Holocaust jokes with Stewie’s voice coming out of his mouth is creepy. If we wanted to pay to be disturbed, we’d go see Paranormal Activity.” It’s just a thought.

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