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Publishers Clearing House Reaches Comprehensive Agreement With State Attorneys General.

Business Editors

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 2001

PCH Will Adopt Strongest Standards in the Industry; Prize Awards to

Continue With Next $1 Million Prize Awarded on August 23rd

Publishers Clearing House, a leading direct marketer of magazines and products and the nation's largest sweepstakes sponsor, announced today that it has reached a comprehensive agreement with 26 state Attorneys General that brings to a close the outstanding issues and legal proceedings raised against the company. The company previously settled with 24 states and the District of Columbia last summer.

"This settlement will allow PCH to move forward doing what we do best - serving millions of satisfied customers and awarding millions of dollars to people all over the U.S." said Robin Smith, Chairman & CEO of Publishers Clearing House "We listened to the states concerns and have agreed to responsive and significant changes that will make our promotions the clearest, most reliable and trustworthy in the industry."

Deborah Holland, Executive Vice President for PCH said, "Entries for our next $1 Million Prize to be awarded on August 23rd during the NBC Nightly News are in the mail right now." Ms. Holland continued, "The fact that the company faithfully awards its prizes has never been in doubt."

Christopher L. Irving, Senior Director of Consumer Affairs for PCH said, "Publishers Clearing House will conduct its sweepstakes in complete and full accordance with the terms of this settlement which sets a new high water mark for industry standards. Consumers can participate in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes with total confidence in the honesty and fairness of our promotions and with the knowledge that we are committed to doing the right thing for all consumers."

Former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti, senior partner in the law firm Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti of Baltimore and Washington, played a critical role in bringing the parties together and, as Special Compliance Counsel, will advise the company and oversee compliance and complaint resolution in the future. Mr. Civiletti described the settlement as "A ground-breaking government-private agreement which assures more consumer disclosures and protections for sweepstakes than any other industry in the nation."

Among the significant highlights of the breakthrough settlement are:
-- Innovative consumer protection programs to identify and remove from the
mailing list consumers who may be confused about sweepstakes promotions.

-- Permanent inclusion in all PCH mailings of consumer friendly "Sweepstakes
Facts Disclosures" that carry important consumer education messages regarding
odds of winning, giveaway end dates and no purchase necessary in a grid display
reminiscent of FDA-style nutrition labeling.

-- The use of a single exclusive method of entry for all consumers who wish to
enter the sweepstakes.

-- Establishment of a "Special Compliance Counsel" to act as a liaison between
the states and PCH on an ongoing basis.

-- Equal prominence for conditions to winning in statements about winning.


The states participating in the settlement are: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Publishers Clearing House has been in business for over 47 years, and in that time has awarded over $170 million in major prizes alone. Over 40% of the company's profits go to fund a wide range of charitable activities including health care, environmental, cultural and human rights causes. On August 23th the company will award its next major prize of one million dollars in a live PCH announcement, during a commercial break of the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. On Super Bowl Sunday the company will continue its tradition of awarding $10 Million Dollars live on national television.

Further information and comment from the company is available to the media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by contacting Christopher L. Irving, Senior Director of Consumer Affairs at (800) 337 - 4724.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 26, 2001
Words:644
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