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Press Release

June 26, 2007

PTC Chastises Circuit City for Frequently Underwriting Inappropriate TV Content


RICHMOND, Va. (June 26, 2007) – At the annual Circuit City shareholders meeting, the Parents Television Council™ called on the company to alter its current advertising practices.  Circuit City’s consistent decision to subsidize programming that contains inappropriate content has earned the company a spot on PTC’s list of ten worst advertisers.  The PTC requested that the company set and adhere to more family-friendly media guidelines.  Excerpts follow from a written statement submitted by Melissa Henson, senior director of programs for the PTC, to Circuit City executives:


“I am here today because Circuit City Stores, Inc. consistently advertises on programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language.


“Despite the rapid changes in technology and the resulting influx of new merchandise, it has been your mission to not let these variables interfere with the one thing you have prided yourself in keeping constant: your commitment to your customers.  But, speaking as one of your customers and shareholders, you are failing to keep up your standards; you are not making our life ‘easier and more enjoyable’ as your website claims, because we have to be constantly concerned with protecting our children and our members’ children from the indecency that has engulfed the entertainment industry.


“The PTC has rated Circuit City among the ten-worst advertisers on television.  Through PTC research, we have found that although some of your money is supporting family-friendly shows, a good portion of your budget for advertising on television shows dedicated to vulgar content; these shows include CSI, Criminal Minds and House to name only a few.  One of the Criminal Minds episodes you supported dealt with themes of both pedophilia and prostitution.  Here is an excerpt of dialogue sponsored by Circuit City from the September 27th episode:


‘You’re a bad boy; you needed to be tied up, didn’t you? Let me see you struggle. Let me see your bum.’


“To make matters more graphic, as this is being said, a little boy tied to a chair with his shirt and pants off, is seen raising his hips off the chair and is flirtatiously showing his rear end to the camera for an online web site.  In an episode of the medical drama, House, that you supported, the patient-of-the-week suffers from alcoholism and every time he coughs, the audience is privileged to see blood gushing from his mouth.


“For a company that has a national partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America but then supports shows containing vulgar content, I wonder how the Boys and Girls Clubs would respond if they knew the type of programs you supported.  Does supporting such programming ‘provide children with the means to explore their talents’ as stated on your website?


“The PTC’s message to you, Circuit City, 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.


“I am here today not to place blame, but rather to plead with you, on behalf of millions of Americans, to stop underwriting sleaze and adopt responsible advertising guidelines that will keep Circuit City off of programming that contains foul language, gratuitous sex, and graphic violence.


“Mr. Chairman tell me now if this is important to you and if it isn’t, I’ll go ahead and let our 1.1 million members know immediately that Circuit City has no media guidelines and frankly, doesn’t care where its message will appear.  If it is important to you, we can work together - but I need your personal commitment today to change the way Circuit City buys media time. Is this important to you Chairman Schoonover?”


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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