- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2000


A homosexual rights group is trying to convince advertisers that sponsoring Laura Schlessinger's upcoming television show will be bad for business.

In full-page newspaper and magazine ads set to begin running this week, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation says the talk-show host known as "Dr. Laura" "has angry and hurtful things to say about all kinds of Americans."

"Many advertisers don't realize how alienating her program has become," say the ads, which include the National Mental Health Association and the National Organization for Women as sponsors.

The effort to discourage advertisers for "Dr. Laura," being syndicated by Paramount Television Group, comes as companies are deciding how to spread their ad dollars among new and returning fall TV shows.

The GLAAD ads ran yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the trade paper Daily Variety, as well as in coming editions of Advertising Age, Ad Week and Broadcasting & Cable. The group is spending about $200,000 for the ads.

Under the headline "Ad time with 'Dr. Laura' is for sale. Here's what you're buying," the print ad includes comments said to be from Mrs. Schlessinger's syndicated newspaper columns, radio show and interviews.

"There is little reason left for society to respect women as it once did," reads one excerpt identified as being from a 1999 column. Mrs. Schlessinger's much-publicized comment calling homosexuality a "biological error" and "deviant" also is included.

Last week, Procter & Gamble Co. pulled out of a deal to sponsor her TV show, saying that it had become impossible to separate the host's opinions on "a broad range of topics" from the program's planned focus, responsible parenting.

Also last week, United Airlines dropped its ads for her radio show from its in-flight magazine because of her comments on homosexuality. Xerox Corp. and the on-line branch of toy retail chain Toys R Us Inc. also pulled their ads.

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