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Press Release

March 15, 2007

PTC Questions Hewlett-Packard on Advertising Practices and Urges Corporate Responsibility


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (March 15, 2007) – At the annual Hewlett-Packard Shareholders meeting, the Parents Television Council™ called on the company to carefully evaluate its advertising practices, since the company had sponsored the season finale of FX's Nip/Tuck series last season, and several other television programs that contained graphic sex, violence, and coarse language during hours when millions of children were watching.  The following excerpts are taken from a statement made by Gavin McKiernan, national grassroots director of the Parents Television Council, at the meeting on Wednesday:


"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 Hewlett-Packard consistently advertises on programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language and we think this needs to stop – now.


"Hewlett-Packard is clearly a leader in the betterment of the lives of children.  Chairman Hurd, your philanthropic work through e – inclusion and the Micro Enterprise Acceleration Program has helped people all around the world.  Surely, you understand how Hewlett-Packard irresponsibility in the media marketplace can undermine your good works.  It is a shame that Hewlett-Packard 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 Hewlett-Packard does not have media guidelines in place to keep its name off of programs containing graphic and explicit content.


"Over the past year Hewlett-Packard had sponsored the season finale of FX's Nip/Tuck series.  This particular episode included women displaying their breasts, gory surgical procedures and dialogue that included this dialogue from Christian, one of the lead characters: "Prostitution?  That's bullshit!  He stuffs his bitches' tits full of heroin!  They're worth more to him as mules than they are whores!"


"In addition, Hewlett-Packard supported an episode of The Unit on CBS where an attempted rape was featured on a pregnant woman that resulted in a violent assault on her.  In the program Alias on ABC, advertiser HP supported violence as depicted in the a scene where the lead character Sydney is being zapped with a stun gun, then finds herself being strangled.


"The PTC's message to Hewlett-Packard is this – your advertising dollars reflect your corporate values.  I doubt the Board of Directors or the shareholders would be proud of this program that your media dollars supported.


"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 Hewlett-Packard off of programming that contains foul language, gratuitous sex, and graphic violence.  Please embrace your responsibility to society by being an economic, intellectual and social asset to the television viewing community.  Will Hewlett-Packard continue paying for the ‘cultural sewage' that is delivered into our homes on a nightly basis?  Or, will Hewlett-Packard 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 April so that we may let our 1.1 million members know whether or not Hewlett-Packard 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 Hewlett-Packard is adopting advertising guidelines that reflect its corporate values."



To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

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 more than 1.3 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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