Viacom pursued its contract negotiations with Time-Warner in one of the lowest ways possible: It went after its youngest audience. And it worked. Per the LA Times:
Viacom had purchased newspaper advertisements, featuring a tearful Dora the Explorer, and placed an on-screen crawl on its channels to alert viewers to the impending programming blackout. The ads encouraged viewers to complain to Time Warner Cable.
The tactic worked -- parents reported having to soothe children who were upset over the prospect of not being able to watch their favorite shows on Nickelodeon, including "SpongeBob SquarePants."
"Our family will cancel Time Warner if a suitable agreement is not reached," threatened Debra Cooper, a mother of two who lives in San Diego. "I admit SpongeBob's laugh drives me nuts, but he is part of our family, as is George Lopez, 'Home Improvement,' 'i-Carly,' and all the rest."
Cooper said she called Time Warner Cable twice Wednesday to lobby for the channel. The company was inundated with calls, and executives from both companies put their holiday plans on hold to return to the negotiations.