"Products intended for adults have long been advertised during the Super Bowl and other high profile television events when younger family members are likely to be watching as well," said Anita Frazier, an industry analyst with NPD Group.
If Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and beer companies are allowed a shot at an audience that's more than 100 million strong, why shouldn't video game companies, she said.
And, she added, movies and other kinds of media that highlight adult-oriented content can provide valuable opportunities for parents to start conversations with their kids.
"As a parent, I think it's important to take those opportunities to talk to my kids about content and its appropriateness for them," she said. "It's not the network's responsibility to shield my children (and therefore the large audience who is an appropriate target for these products) on my behalf."