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Press Release

PTC Asks Johnson & Johnson to Extend Concern for Children to its Media Buying Practices

By: Kelly Oliver

Release Date: 4/23/2015

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (April 23, 2015) – The Parents Television Council called on Johnson & Johnson to extend concern for children to its media buying practices at the company’s annual shareholders meeting today. The company frequently sponsors television shows with graphically violent and explicit sexual content, and was one of the

PTC’s “Worst TV Sponsors” in 2014

Melissa Henson, director of grassroots advocacy and education for the Parents Television Council, spoke at the meeting, and the following is her full statement (an abbreviated version was given at the meeting):

“I know that Johnson & Johnson is a company that cares about children. I’ve used Johnson & Johnson soaps, shampoos and lotions on my son from infancy. And now that he’s a rough-and-tumble six-year-old, I use your Neosporin and Band-Aid brands to mend his scrapes and scratches.

“And yet, all too often, your evident concern for the wellbeing of children is not reflected in your media buying decisions.

“Last year, Johnson & Johnson ranked on the PTC’s list of Worst TV Sponsors for its frequent sponsorship of graphically violent and explicit sexual content, including, ‘Dating Naked.’ We have made efforts to communicate our concerns about Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship behavior privately with members of the leadership team, all to no avail.

“And this is particularly disappointing, because Johnson & Johnson used to rank among the Best TV advertisers, and was one of the founding members of the Family Friendly Programming Forum, and the ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment.

“Working, as you do, with medical advisors, you must be aware of the joint statement signed by members of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (among others), that outlines the harmful effect of media violence on young viewers; and yet Johnson & Johnson has frequently sponsored media violence that the medical community has denounced as harmful.

“You must also be aware of the growing body of research showing that children who are exposed to high levels of sexual content in the media are more likely to fall pregnant or cause a pregnancy than teens with less exposure; are likely to engage in sexual behavior at a younger age than peers with less exposure; engage in higher levels of sexual risk taking, and have more sexual partners over their lifetime than peers with less exposure.

“In addition to going against the recommendations of the medical community; I hope you will see, that as a well-known family brand this media buying pattern is in conflict with your corporate values, and the values of many of your consumers.

“Researchers at Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa State Universities have found that television viewers are less likely to recall the product being advertised if the advertisement airs within violent or sexually-explicit programming. And Walmart’s chief marketing officer has stated publicly that their media dollars generate an additional 18% return on investment if aired during ‘safe’ programming compared to explicit programming.

“Today I would like to offer to make the resources of the Parents Television Council available to you, to help Johnson & Johnson bring its advertising practices to a more a positive disposition while still meeting your marketing objectives. I am asking you to adopt responsible advertising guidelines and to end sponsorship of violent, sexual media content. Because Our Children Are Watching. “

The Parents Television Council® ( 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 1.4 million members, 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.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
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To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at