TALK-SHOW HABIT HARD TO BREAK

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NEW YORK-With pressure mounting on advertisers to abandon controversial talk shows, recent spending figures underline their reliance on the oft-salacious genre.

Procter & Gamble Co., for one, says it has pulled spending from some shows, but at the same time it has beefed up spending on others.

Turning up the heat are William Bennett, co-director of the political advocacy group Empower America, and Sens. Joe Lieberman (D., Conn.) and Sam Nunn (D., Ga.). Along with the Rev. Donald Wildmon's American Family Association, the three plan to send letters to producers, broadcasters and advertisers pressuring them to temper talk-show sleaze.

In a March survey of major advertisers, 75% said they've taken action to reduce their presence on violent programming and TV talk shows, vs. 55% during the same time last year, said Jack Myers, president of advertising research company Myers Communications.

He added, however, that "what advertisers say and what they and their media buying agencies do may be two different things."

"During the past 12 months, we made some decisions to stop advertising on some shows and reduce spending in others. We can't name names but it is over content issues," a P&G spokeswoman said.

However, according to Competitive Media Reporting, while P&G spending in the first seven months of 1995 dropped 38.2% to $537,050 on "Rolonda Watts," 6.2% to $651,000 on "Sally Jessy Raphael" and 3.2% to $1.012 million on "Maury Povich," spending on other controversial shows actually rose. P&G hiked ad spending 314.1% to $5.688 million on "Ricki Lake," 210.9% to $5.414 million on "Jenny Jones" and 92.8% to $785,500 on "Montel Williams."

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TOP DAYTIME TALK-SHOW ADVERTISERS

Marketer 1995 1994 Change

Procter & Gamble $28,280,855 $18,513,528 +52.8%

Philip Morris $12,863,653 $14,339,489 -10.3%

Unilever $11,265,629 $12,290,800 -8.3%

Warner-Lambert $7,772,125 $6,599,750 +17.8%

Kellogg $5,227,827 $3,087,767 +69.3%

Unknown $5,185,239 $1,240,283 +318.1%

American Home Products $5,120,258 $4,673,123 +9.6%

Bayer $4,182,170 $3,010,614 +38.9%

Smithkline Beecham $3,759,411 $3,411,880 +10.2%

Helene Curtis $3,675,015 $2,295,050 +60.1%

General Mills $3,550,285 $2,441,779 +45.4%

Reckitt & Colman $3,223,796 $3,033,956 +6.3%

Kimberly-Clark $2,997,455 $1,878,485 +59.6%

William Wrigley $2,664,000 $1,255,139 +112.2%

Pfizer $2,639,879 $680,139 +288.1%

Mars $2,546,150 $898,600 +183.3%

Sandoz $2,424,055 $1,462,159 +65.8%

Abbott Laboratories $2,393,026 $877,045 +172.9%

Bristol-Myers Squibb $2,324,466 $1,498,942 +55.1%

Dow Chemical $2,143,232 $2,596,631 -17.5%

Clorox $2,084,397 $913,102 +128.3%

Campbell Soup $2,023,595 $1,733,756 +16.7%

AT&T $1,999,388 $261,275 +665.2%

Sara Lee $1,899,646 $702,350 +170.5%

Block Drug $1,886,646 $2,021,907 -6.7%

Source: Competitive Media Reporting, ranked by January-July 1995 dollars.

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