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Press Release

June 5, 2007

PTC Asks General Motors to Drive Ads Away From Graphically Violent and Sexual TV Programs


WILMINGTON, Del. (June 5, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ called on the General Motors Corporation at its annual shareholders meeting to drive its advertising away from television programming that contains graphic violence, sexual content and foul language and instead sponsor family-friendly programming.  The following are excerpts from a statement made by Glen Erickson, director of advertiser programs for the PTC, at the meeting:


“I am here today because General Motors Corporation consistently advertises on programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language.  We have talked to GM executives about content issues surrounding GM advertising, and yet GM continues to promote the worst of what television has to offer. 


“It saddens me to have to stand before you today criticizing the actions of your company when its corporate responsibility guidelines and philanthropic ambitions promise a society driven by community, a society that is in agreement with the standards of the PTC.  Unfortunately, GM is failing to meet its own principles since its actions are speaking louder than its words.


“Does this sound familiar Mr. Chairman?  ‘At GM, corporate responsibility is more than words. It is an acknowledgement that our actions shape our reputation.’  That is from the GM website.  But how can this statement have any validity when GM’s words and actions appear to be incongruent?  How can GM promote education amongst children in grades K-12 and promote ‘community awareness and improvement’ when this company is responsible for advertising on some of the most violent and vulgar programming on television?


“The money that you budget for advertising on television is supporting specific shows dedicated to vulgar content such as C.S.I., Dirt and NCIS to name only a few.  On one episode of Dirt, Courteney Cox’s character has a graphic scene in which she is masturbating.  In another Dirt episode sponsored by GM, two men have oral sex on-camera.  OnStar, one of your divisions, recently supported an episode of NCIS in which a drug smuggler is gruesomely dissected and then a drug addict, the victim’s sister, is seen snorting drugs directly from her dead brother’s bloodied, sliced open intestines.  We understand that you are targeting a young demographic with these so-called ‘edgy’ shows but there are alternative ways to successfully reach your target market.


“The PTC’s message to GM is simple – your advertising dollars reflect your corporate values and promote your reputation to the public.  I doubt the Board of Directors or the shareholders would be proud of these content examples your media dollars support.


“Mr. Chairman, please tell me, here and now, if this issue is important to you.  If it is important to you, then I will immediately let our 1.1 million members know that you are committed to improving GE’s sponsorship practices.  But if you are not concerned, if this is not important to you, I ask you to please say so.  Over the past several months your staff has paid lip service to the issue to mollify the public, but their actions have contradicted their words.  Your shareholders and your customers deserve to know what your instructions will be to your staff.  We stand ready, willing and able to help, but I need your personal commitment today.  Is this important to you Chairman Waggoner?”


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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