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Press Release

April 27, 2007

Abbott Labs Censors Shareholder Speech

Company Denies Shareholder Entrance Into Shareholder Meeting


CHICAGO (April 27, 2007) – In a cowardly move, Abbott Labs denied access to a representative of Parents Television Council, which is an Abbott Labs shareholder, into its shareholder meeting scheduled for today.  Even after the PTC representative presented proof that PTC owns Abbott Labs stock, a security guard would not let him out of his car and through the security gate after checking with Abbott Labs public relations personnel.  The PTC is now investigating its options given this blatant – and what appears to be intentional – disregard for shareholder rights.


The following are excerpts from a statement that Glen Erickson, manager of advertising programs for the PTC, was going to deliver at the meeting:


“Abbott Labs consistently advertises on programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language, and we think this needs to stop – now.


“It certainly appears to me, and to the Parents Television Council on behalf of its 1.1 million members, that Abbott Labs does not have media guidelines in place to keep its name off of programs containing graphic and explicit content.


“During the 2005 – 2006 broadcast year, Abbott Labs brands have sponsored such shows as C.S.I. Miami, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and Nip/Tuck on F/X network.  One Nip/Tuck episode supported by Abbott Labs brands included: the Quentin character snorting cocaine from the palm of his hand and the Matt character sharing this information: ‘Kimber, you know, the porn starlet who boned my other Dad after you left him.’


“The PTC’s message to Abbott Labs is this – your advertising dollars reflect your corporate values.  I doubt the Board of Directors or the shareholders would be proud of these content examples your media dollars support.


“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 Abbott Labs brands off of programming that contains foul language, gratuitous sex, and graphic violence.


“Will Abbott Labs continue paying for the ‘cultural sewage’ that is broadcast into our homes on a nightly basis?  Or, will Abbott Labs 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 June 1st.  We will let our members know whether or not Abbott Labs 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 Abbott Labs is adopting advertising guidelines that reflect its corporate values.”


A copy of this statement will be sent to Abbott Labs.


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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