BOYCOTT AND PETITIONS SOAR

Catalyst December 1997

The boycott of the sponsors of “Nothing Sacred,” and the number of persons who have signed the petition against the show, continues to mount. There are now 27 companies that have pulled their ads from the show and approximately 1,000,000 persons who have signed the league’s petition addressed to Disney chief, Michael Eisner.

The November Catalyst listed the following shows that had withdrawn their ads: Isuzu, Weight Watchers, K-Mart, Benckiser, DuPont, Red Lobster, Ocean Spray, Sears, AT&T, Glaxo Wellcome, Ponderosa, Dunkin’ Donuts, Scott’s Liquid Gold, Chrysler-Plymouth, Honda, Arm & Hammer, Home Depot, Borden, Alberto Culver and Montgomery Ward.

The league erred in listing AT&T and wrote to the company explaining the mistake. AT&T never advertised on the show, rather it was Telecom*USA that did: the league mistook this MCI company as a subsidiary of AT&T. Therefore, the correct number of sponsors who pulled, as of the November Catalyst, was 19, not 20. However, since that time, eight new companies have pulled.

The latest companies that have withdrawn advertising are: Ovaltine, Dairy Queen, Mutual of Omaha, Telecom*USA, Cigna, McCormick, Pier 1 and Nordic Track. This brings the total to 27 companies that have said no to “Nothing Sacred.”

Viewers of the show cannot help but recognize the unusually high number of promotional spots that ABC is running on “Nothing Sacred.” Add to this ads run by movie studios, non-profit groups and products ordered by (800) numbers, and that leaves relatively few companies left who are directly subject to a consumer boycott. Even here there is good news: Nordic Track, which was selling its equipment via an (800) number, has decided to dump the show.

Because it is getting more difficult to boycott the show, and because there are ads that only appear in certain markets, the league recommends that members contact those companies that have advertised the most on “Nothing Sacred.”

We suggest that you concentrate on Block Drug Company, maker of Targon and Sensodyne. Write to them at 257 Cornelison Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302 or call them at (800) 365-6500. Also write to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., maker of Clairol and Excedrin, at P.O. Box 191, 1 Squibb Drive, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901 or call them at (800) 223-5800. Contact Grand Metropolitan PLC, owner of Burger King and Pillsbury. Write to Burger King at 17777 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Florida, 33102-0783 or call them at (305) 378-7011; Pillsbury may be reached at 2866 Pillsbury Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402 or at (800) 775-4777.

There is no question that the boycott is being felt. Obviously, there is nothing the league can do to stop ABC from subsidizing its failed show with money taken from other sources, but it can, and will, make them pay dearly for it.

The league is proud that the Knights of Columbus, with 1.5 million members, has joined the boycott. It is also proud of all those persons who are not of the Catholic faith who have vigorously supported our effort. In this regard, special mention must be made of the Southern Baptists, Coral Ridge Ministries, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association.

Members should know that a counter-boycott is underway. Those who support the show are writing to sponsors who have not quit asking them to stay. This is more reason than ever before to continue our efforts.


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Written by Bill