Edgy ad agencies support edgy shows


The Shield's racy content may have cost FX about 11 advertisers, but some edgier advertisers can wither -- or even relish -- a controversial show.

"Heat-seeker" advertisers like movie companies and video-game makers were
willing to buy time on South Park when other advertisers shied away,
former Comedy Central executive and current USA Networks Inc. president Doug Herzog said
Sunday afternoon at the National Show in New Orleans.

Herzog said more adventurous advertisers willingly came in early, and others
drifted in later once South Park became a clear hit.

But even when cable produces a breakout original like South Park and,
more recently, The Shield and MTV: Music Television's The Osbournes, Herzog said, some
advertisers remain skeptical.

"One agency said original cable programming is code for low ratings," he
added. "That's not fair."