SEATTLE (November 14, 2006) – Today at the annual Microsoft
shareholders meeting, the Parents Television Council™ called on Microsoft to
examine its advertising practices in light of the evidence that the company
is sponsoring some of the most violent and vulgar television programming.
The following excerpts are taken from a statement that was given by the
PTC's Manager of Advertising Programs Glen Erickson to executives attending
"I am here today representing the Parents Television Council,
a non-profit, nonpartisan group committed to protecting children from sex,
violence and profanity in entertainment. I am here today because
Microsoft consistently advertises on programming that contains graphic
violence, excessive sexual content and foul language and we think this needs
to stop – now.
"Microsoft is clearly a leader in the betterment of the lives
of children. Mr. Gates, your philanthropic work through the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation has helped children all around the world.
Surely, you understand how Microsoft's irresponsibility in the media
marketplace can undermine your good works.
"It is a shame that Microsoft cannot demonstrate leadership
as a responsible corporate citizen as reflected in the support of the
company's consistent pattern of advertising on some of the most violent and
vulgar programming on television. It is clear to me, and to the
Parents Television Council's 1.1 million members, that Microsoft does not
have media guidelines in place to keep its name off of programs containing
graphic and explicit content.
"Over the past year, Microsoft has sponsored such shows as
The Family Guy,
The War at Home and
Nip/Tuck on the F/X network.
Last season, the XBOX was advertised in a
Nip/Tuck episode that included
this exchange between two lead characters: Christian: ‘How would you
feel if I took a mold of my cock, passed it around South Beach and called it
a career?' Kimber: ‘If you thought it was a solid business
venture, I would let you.' Christian: ‘Now you're full of shit.'
Later in the show, the Colleen character approaches Christian and he grabs
her hands and presses them to his crotch. And this is a show sponsored
by Microsoft's XBOX.
"The PTC's message to Microsoft is this – your advertising
dollars reflect your corporate values. I doubt the Board of Directors
or the shareholders would be proud of these programs your media dollars
"I am here today to plead with you, on behalf of millions of
Americans, to stop underwriting sleaze and adopt responsible advertising
guidelines that will keep Microsoft off of programming that contains foul
language, gratuitous sex, and graphic violence.
"Will Microsoft continue paying for the ‘cultural sewage'
that is broadcast into our homes on a nightly basis? Or, will
Microsoft be a responsible corporate citizen and dedicate its advertising
dollars toward sponsoring pro-social, family-friendly programming.
"The Parents Television Council would like your response to
this question by the first of December so that we may let our 1.1 million
members know whether or not Microsoft is dedicated to responsible
advertising and not to return to sponsoring some of the most offensive and
violent programming on television. I hope that I will be able to tell
them that Microsoft is adopting advertising guidelines that reflect its
schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver
(ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.