The idea was simple. Microsoft taps into the popular Family Guy show’s behemoth fan base through the use of re-voiced video clips; then in turn tours college campuses with Fox with a tour to capture students head on. Another facet of this arrangement was to sponsor the Family Guy Special that was to air on Fox November 8th. Microsoft has announced that it no longer plans to sponsor this special due to content of the special “Was not a fit with the Windows brand”.
For those not familiar with the show, Family Guy first broadcasted in 1999. After two seasons Fox pulled the show for the same, boorish, low-brow content. The show continued to gain popularity through TV syndication and DVD sales. Fox re-signed the show and contracted until 2012 (note: apparently when the world ends!).
To all the Family Guy fans, Fox said they will simply replace Microsoft with another sponsor. As far as where Microsoft stands at this point, it’s hard to tell if their reputation is more damaged for pulling out or if they would have stuck to it. I just find it really hard to imagine how Microsoft even begun this sponsorship without having reviewed Family Guy to begin with.