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A couple of months ago, we learned the Duggar family was headed back to TV, thanks to a brand new reality series following two of the young women in the family. That series, Jill & Jessa: Counting On has now been airing for a short while and has done good ratings for TLC. However, now the network is facing another problem: advertisers want nothing to do with it.
After the first episode of Counting On aired, seven advertisers publicly distanced themselves from the program after their advertisements were run during the episode. Those companies included Pure Michigan, Verizon Wireless, Mattress Firm, Cici’s Pizza, Choice Hotels, The UPS Store and Whitewave foods. That’s a lot of companies that were unhappy with advertisements airing during the new reality series, but it got worse during the second week. In Touch Weekly reports that now more companies are coming out to declare they want nothing to do with Jill & Jessa: Counting On. Chattem, Inc. saw ads aired for its ACT Kids Batman Rinse and more during the program and are now stating those commercials aired "in error." RCN Corporation, acne product X Out, Credit Karma, Gazelle, Ring.com and Combe Inc, which is responsible for putting Vagisil on the market, are all unhappy with having ads appear during the Duggar family’s new show. Wrigley, the huge candy and gum company, saw a Skittles ad air during Counting On. Suffice to say, that company is displeased, too. In a statement, Wrigley said:
It is never our intent to endorse content that could offend our consumers.
So, how did all of these companies end up advertising during a show they didn’t really want anything to do with? Oftentimes, when you sign big overarching ad agreements with a network, you are plugged in where it makes the most sense. Some of these companies are saying they did buy overall packages with TLC, but never intended for those commercials to air during Jill & Jessa: Counting On. But some of these companies are saying these ads ran in error and should never have been associated with the Duggar brand to begin with.
It’s a tricky situation. TLC used to make a boatload of money off of the Duggar family, but decided to cancel 19 Kids and Counting after black sheep son Josh Duggar was revealed to have molested his sisters as a young man. He also was found to be involved in the Ashley Madison Affair site. Although Josh has obviously been dealing with some problems, the other Duggar children have still proven to have a fanbase. Because of this, TLC brought back Jill and Jessa a few months ago for a one-off special addressing the scandal and what the family had been up to in the time after. That one-off special went off without a hitch, but now that TLC has signed on for a longer series, it seems that a lot of big companies aren't interested in being associated with the Duggar family brand.
So, could Jill & Jess: Counting On be in trouble? The answer is possibly. Even if the show pulls in good ratings for the network, if there aren’t ads to support the series, TLC won’t be making any money for its troubles. If enough advertisers distance themselves from the series, Counting On might not be a viable option for the cabler moving forward. However, there could still be companies that want to support the Duggars that could fill in the gaps where the other advertisers don’t want to be. We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, new episodes of Jill & Jessa: Counting On air on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET, only on TLC. Here's what else the networks have coming up.