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More advertisers flee controversial 'Skins'

The weekend brought more bad news for the racy new MTV show "Skins." After the Parents Television Council urged a boycott and a federal investigation into the series for possible violations of child pornography laws, advertisers are following in the footsteps of Taco Bell and are pulling their ads from the show. "Skins," an American remake of a popular British drama, stars underage actors as teens
/ Source: TODAY news services

The weekend brought more bad news for the racy new MTV show "Skins." After the Parents Television Council urged a boycott and a federal investigation into the series for possible violations of child pornography laws, advertisers are following in the footsteps of Taco Bell and are pulling their ads from the show.

"Skins," an American remake of a popular British drama, stars underage actors as teens who explore sex and drugs in their formative years. The program is rated "mature" and airs at 10 p.m.

Taco Bell was the first to flee on Thursday. "We advertise on a variety of MTV programs that reach our core demographic of 18- to 34-year-olds, which included the premiere episode of 'Skins,' " spokesperson Rob Poetsch told TODAY in a statement. "Upon further review, we’ve decided that the show is not a fit for our brand and have moved our advertising to other MTV programming,"

Then late on Friday, General Motors and Wrigley followed suit. Ads for the auto giant's Chevy Volt aired during the show's premiere Monday, but the company told the PTC that "Skins" was on their "do not buy" list, reports Deadline.com. GM said that the ads were mistakenly aired.

Wrigley aired commercials for Orbit and Extra gum on the premiere. “Wrigley has decided to suspend any advertising during MTV’s ‘Skins’ as it is never our intent to endorse content that could offend our consumers,” a rep told Access Hollywood on Friday evening. “Any ads that previously aired during the show were part of a broader advertising plan with the network.”

H&R Block delivered a big blow on Saturday. The tax preparation company, one of "Skins' " biggest advertisers, according to The New York Daily News, also decided to yank its ads.

"H&R Block is not an advertiser of the show," the company said in a statement. "One ad ran by mistake as part of a rotation. Once we learned this, we immediately took steps to ensure it didn't happen again. This program is not brand right and H&R Block did not select it to be part of our rotation."

In a press release, PTC president Tim Winter said that the group had already contacted Subway to ask the sandwich company "to defend sponsoring the baseless content on 'Skins' that is being marketed directly to children."

But the loss of advertisers may not stop here for the racy teen drama. The PTC said in a statement on Saturday that it will urge more companies to remove their ads from "Skins," including Schick Hydro, L'Oreal and Foot Locker.

Access Hollywood, Deadline.com and The New York Daily News contributed to this report.