Senate hears sweepstakes stories

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A Senate subcommittee today launched public hearings into problems with marketers' sweepstakes promotions, hearing testimony suggesting that magazine publishers may be partly to blame for abuses. Patti McElligott testified that when her father-in-law died, she and her husband found he had subscribed to multiple copies of numerous magazines through sweepstakes promotions for American Family Publishers, Publishers Clearing House and the magazines' own promotions, without magazines ever suggesting something might be wrong. In the worst case, she said, her father-in-law was getting 32 subscriptions to U.S. News & World Report, with one subscription paid through 2018. The Government Affairs Committee's investigations subcommittee is hearing about problems with major magazine marketers today and tomorrow. AFP in testimony tomorrow is due to outline a pilot program to stop mailings to 25,000 people and respond to family complaints.

Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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