First Kevin Smith couldn't get the rating he wanted for Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Then the poster got rejected. And now the latest: Numerous advertising outlets are refusing to promote the film at all on the grounds that its very title is unsuitable for mass audiences.

According to the Associated Press, about 15 newspapers and several TV and cable channels have rejected the ads because the word "porno" is objectionable. The city of Philadelphia won't put the posters on its bus shelters, and the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Fox Sports to stop running the commercials during their games after several viewer complaints -- never mind that up until last year, Viagra was an official sponsor of Major League Baseball, and if more than "several" complaints about that were received, they fell on deaf ears for half a decade.

The AP quotes a Dodgers spokesman talking about one of the complaints they'd gotten from a father: "He was explaining to his son what a squeeze bunt was. Commercial break, the ad comes on, and the kid asks, 'Dad, what does porno mean?'"

Personally, I think "squeeze bunt" sounds a lot dirtier than "porno," but I see where the father's coming from. Is it really that awkward, though? "Oh, it's just a movie for mommies and daddies. Don't worry about it. Now, let's get back to the squeeze bunt. You see, when a batter and a runner love each other very much...." It seems like a pretty easy thing to defuse.

But more to the point: I bet all of the outlets that have declined advertising for Zack and Miri have no problem running ads for movies with the words Kill, Shoot, Murder, Death, and War in their titles.

I bet The Hills Have Eyes and Hostel and Hostel II: Electric Boogaloo and Saw IV: I Know Who You Sawed Last Summer, with their dark, violent, MPAA-approved promotional images, got by just fine. But sex between consenting adults! No way. You peddle your smut elsewhere, Kevin Smut!

A Weinstein Company spokesman says that where the ads have been rejected, they're replacing them with ones that use the familiar stick-figure poster and this text: "Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks made a movie so outrageous that we can't even tell you the title." Which is silly, considering the title (and the movie itself, for that matter) isn't actually all that outrageous.

So first the rating, then the poster, now the title. Kevin Smith can't seem to catch a break! You should pity him -- all the way to the bank. You can't buy this kind of publicity. After all, announcing that you refuse to advertise something is, in a way, a form of advertising, except now it's free.