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Press Release

May 15, 2007

PTC to Sepracor: Stop Underwriting Sleaze


BOSTON (May 15, 2007) – Today, the Parents Television Council™ called on Sepracor to stop advertising on programs that contain offensive content.  The PTC noted that over the past year, Sepracor has used its Lunesta brand to support shows such as The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck and Dirt. PTC asked Sepracor to reconsider its decision to underwrite graphic sex, foul language and excessive violence on television and to adopt advertising guidelines that reflect its corporate values. The following are excerpts from a statement given at the Sepracor shareholders meeting by Gavin McKiernan, PTC’s National Grassroots Director:


“Sepracor is clearly a leader in the betterment of the lives of many people.  Mr. Adams, your leadership in the development of pharmaceuticals that aid patients with respiratory and central nervous system disorders is extremely important.  However, it is a shame that Sepracor cannot demonstrate leadership as a responsible corporate citizen as reflected in 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 Sepracor does not have media guidelines in place to keep its name off of programs containing graphic and explicit content.


“Over the past year, Sepracor brand Lunesta has sponsored such shows as The Soprano’s, Nip/Tuck and Dirt.  A particular Dirt episode sponsored by Lunesta featured the Don character placing his hand into a cargo lift and severing his own finger.  The fingertip is then shown falling and bouncing on the ground.  In the same episode, the Julia character is in constant pain and is addicted to pain killers; she forgets her lines during a taping of her sitcom.  She feels that she will be replaced and goes to seek more drugs.


“The PTC’s message to Sepracor 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 Sepracor and its brands 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 Sepracor continue paying for the ‘cultural sewage’ that is delivered into our homes on a nightly basis?  Or, will Sepracor be a responsible corporate citizen and dedicate its advertising dollars toward pro-social, family-friendly programming?


“The Parents Television Council would like your response to this question by the first of June so that we may let our 1.1 million members know whether or not Sepracor 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 Sepracor 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.


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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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