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Press Release

May 9, 2006

PTC Blasts Staples and McDonald's for Deliberately Supporting and Defending Raunchy Content on Television


LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2006) – In letters to Staples, Inc., and McDonald's, the Parents Television Council™ (PTC) admonished the two companies for their sponsorship of an extremely graphic episode of NBC's Medium and for shirking their responsibility for making the program possible.


The February 6, 2006, Medium episode contained graphic depictions of a man having sex with a prostitute whose hands were tied to the bed.  Viewers were subjected to an explicit sexual sequence in which the man reaches orgasm and then murders the prostitute by smothering her with a pillow.  In addition, he is shown killing several more prostitutes in the same way.  The episode was watched by over half a million children, according to Nielsen Media Research.  The PTC called on the program's advertisers to reconsider their sponsorship of Medium.


In a response to the PTC, Staples said that the company "advertises with a variety of media outlets, but we do not necessarily share the same views of these organizations or their content." McDonald's letter to the PTC said, "As an advertiser, our role is not to determine what broadcasters should or should not air.  That decision belongs to the broadcaster and, ultimately, to the individual viewer."


"Without Staples' and McDonald's advertising dollars, programs like Medium could not exist.  By underwriting such graphic sexual content, these companies are violating parents' trust in their corporate brand and image.  Both Staples and McDonald's have chosen not to take responsibility for where their ads have aired and for the content their advertising dollars are making possible," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC™.


"It is disingenuous for Staples and McDonald's to insist that they have no influence over what is shown on television.  If companies were unwilling to buy advertising on sexually graphic shows, those offensive shows would disappear overnight.


"When a company chooses to advertise on a program, it is sponsoring that program--.


"We hope Staples and McDonald's will reconsider not only their sponsorship of this graphic and inappropriate program but also their irresponsible statements about not taking responsibility for their actions We are calling on our over one million members to voice their outrage to both companies," said Bozell.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 683-5004, ext. 140.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has over one million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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