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AD COUNCIL'S APPEAL TO NETWORKS DENIED

 NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, as toy buyers met for the American International Toy Fair here, The Advertising Council announced that the ABC, NBC and CBS television networks refused to lift their ban on using public service ads in which the popular crash dummies Vince and Larry promote safety belts.
 The reason for the network decisions, the Ad Council said, was bitter conflict with the Tyco Industries line of toys, "The Incredible Crash Dummies."
 The similarity of Tyco's toy dummies to the Ad Council's walking, talking Vince and Larry has caused the three largest television networks to stop broadcasting the Ad Council's PSAs beginning last fall, because they may be regarded by viewers as commercial promotion for the toys.
 The Council did not criticize the networks' decision. According to Ad Council President Ruth A. Wooden, "The networks and the Ad Council are in the business of preserving the integrity of public service advertising. Obviously, Tyco Industries is not."
 In December 1992, Ms. Wooden requested, to no avail, that Tyco Industries, Inc. withdraw its Incredible Crash Dummies from the marketplace. After Christmas, the Ad Council appealed to ABC, NBC and CBS to lift their ban on the PSAs. Within the past few days all three networks regretfully declined.
 "Every day that our safety belt message doesn't run, innocent lives can be lost," said Ms. Wooden.
 Since the introduction of the seat belt campaign in 1985, the media have given over $305 million worth of time and space to Vince and Larry. In 1991, it was the Ad Council's most popular campaign, receiving $87 million in donated space and time. The campaign will continue in all media but, since the introduction of Tyco's toy dummies, media time and space for the PSAs have been reduced by one-third.
 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, automobile fatalities dropped last year to below 40,000, the lowest level in 30 years, and officials gave credit to public education as a major cause, including the Ad Council campaigns for seat belts and drunk driving prevention.
 "Vince and Larry are among the best known icons in American advertising," Ms. Wooden said. "They have come to stand for safety every time they are seen and heard. Even the young, macho and self- considered immortals of the highway remember to buckle up because of these two.
 "This is an instance, we feel, where a symbol of public safety has been callously snatched away. But it's the potential loss of lives we all regret most," said Ms. Wooden.
 -0- 2/12/93
 /CONTACT: Paule Veale or Brad Lynch of the Ad Council, 212-922-1500/


CO: The Advertising Council Inc.; Tyco Industries ST: New York IN: ADV SU:

GK-TS -- NY011 -- 6085 02/12/93 10:21 EST
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Date:Feb 12, 1993
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