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Volkswagen Skids Into Finale of 'Skins' - Broadcasting & Cable

Volkswagen Skids Into Finale of 'Skins'

Automaker appears in MTV show shunned by product marketers
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The season finale of MTV's controversial series Skins on Monday night featured two commercials for the Volkswagen Beetle amid the usual crowd of ads for movies and video games and promos for other MTV shows.

Most traditional product advertisers have shunned Skins because of its content, which depicts the sex lives and drug use of a group of teens. The Parents Television Council branded Skins as the most dangerous show ever for children. Executives at MTV and parent company Viacom, reportedly were concerned that by using teenage actors in the risqué program, they might have violated child pornography laws.

After its premiere, the PTC began urging advertisers not to advertise in the show. Several companies that advertised early-including Taco Bell, Subway, H&R Block, L'Oreal, and Schick pulled their spots from the show.

Since then only a handful of product marketers have sponsored Skins, including Red Bull and Clearasil, though not seen lately, and White Castle, which appeared in the final two episodes. Volkswagen's ad in the finale was the same ad that appeared in the Super Bowl.

The premiere of Skins, which got a boost from a special original episode of Jersey Shore, attracted 3.3 million viewers. Ratings quickly dropped off and have stabilized at just over 1 million viewers.

MTV says it hasn't made a decision about whether or not there will be a second season of Skins.

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