At Press Time

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Drug ad concern
Washington-Advertising and media industry executives were sounding the alarm at deadline to derail legislation in the Senate this week aimed at discouraging advertising by prescription drug manufacturers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Wis., is planning to offer the measure as an amendment to a major bill regulating the marketing of prescription and generic drugs, according to a top aide. “We are alerting media companies and advertisers to urge their senators to vote against the Stabenow amendment,” said Jim Davidson, who is coordinating the industry opposition. Under the measure, pharmaceutical companies would be barred from deducting advertising and marketing costs that exceed their annual outlays for research and development.
Comerford WNBC G.M.
New York-Dennis Swanson is retiring after six years as president and general manager of No. 1-ranked WNBC-TV, New York, and Frank Comerford, executive VP of sales and marketing for NBC-owned stations, has been named his successor. The switch takes effect immediately.
Muppet upset
Washington-Alarmed by the news that Sesame Workshop will introduce an HIV-positive Muppet character on the South African version of “Sesame Street,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and five members of his committee sent a letter Friday to Public Broadcasting Service President Pat Mitchell asking whether there are plans to introduce the character on the American version of the program and suggesting that it “may not be appropriate for children in the United States, especially in such a very early age group.”