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ARBOR DRUGS INTRODUCES CLOSED-CAPTIONED COMMERCIALS

 ARBOR DRUGS INTRODUCES CLOSED-CAPTIONED COMMERCIALS
 TROY, Mich., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Eugene Applebaum, chairman of


the board, president and chief executive officer of Arbor Drugs, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: ARBR), and John S. Kolon, president of Kolon, Bittker & Desmond, Inc., Arbor's advertising agency, announced that beginning Nov. 1, Arbor's pharmacy and private-label television commercials will be closed captioned.
 Arbor is the only major retail drugstore chain offering closed captioning in its advertising, according to the National Captioning Institute, a non-profit organization established in 1979 by the federal government to develop closed-captioning technology and programming.
 According to a recent national census, nearly 24 million persons or one in every 10 Americans, are deaf and/or hard-of-hearing. "Originally we looked at closed captioning primarily as a means of reaching our senior customers. However, we are also finding that closed captioning can open the world of television to millions of people -- not only the deaf and hard-of-hearing, but also children and illiterate adults learning to read, and people learning English as a second language," said Applebaum.
 "Research shows," said Kolon, 66 percent of the captioned TV viewers are more likely to buy a product or service that has a captioned commercial, and 35 percent will actually switch brands. Captioned TV viewers also have a higher awareness of advertisers that caption their commercials and are more brand loyal. More and more corporate advertisers are realizing that it makes good business sense to invest in captioning. By participating in this service, a company can tap into an audience that is enthusiastic, appreciative and loyal to that company and its products," Kolon continued.
 Closed captions are similar to subtitles seen on foreign movies, but are visible on television sets equipped only with a special "Telecaption" decoder. However, the Decoder Circuitry Act, which was signed into law in October 1990, requires television manufacturers to build decoding capability into all television sets 13 inches and over, sold in the United States after July 1992. A second act of legislation, The Americans with Disabilities Act, guarantees equal access for disabled Americans. The term "access" encompasses physical as well as informational access. Provisions of the Act went into effect in January 1992.
 Founded by Applebaum in 1963, Arbor Drugs is the country's 21st- largest drugstore chain. Presently, the company operates 128 full- service stores, all in Michigan, and has nearly 4,500 employees. Five years ago, Arbor had just 43 stores and 1,400 employees.
 Kolon, Bittker & Desmond is one of the largest full-service advertising agencies based in Michigan. Headquartered in Troy, KB&D specializes in consumer, retail and business-to-business advertising.
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Becky McLennan or Joyce Luft of Kolon, Bittker & Desmond, 313-524-2500, for Arbor Drugs/
 (ARBR) CO: Arbor Drugs, Inc.; Kolon, Bittker & Desmond, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: REA ADV SU:


SB-DH -- DE008 -- 7093 10/30/92 12:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 30, 1992
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