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NAMI Protests ABC’s Wonderland With Commercial Sponsors

Astrazeneca Is First To Withdraw Support
Show Loses 22 Percent of Audience In Second Half-Hour

For Immediate Release, April 3, 2000
Contacts: Bob Carolla or Anne-Marie Chace 703-524-7600

Arlington, VA— The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has contacted companies that sponsored the premiere of ABC’s Wonderland, asking them to pull support for the program because the show "reinforces ignorance and stigma" toward mental illness through "a sensational and one-dimensional portrayal that reduces people with mental illness to caricatures or stereotypes—subjects of humor or derision."

"By making a strong link between mental illness and violence, Wonderland hurts my own daughter and countless others who struggle toward recovery," said NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn in a letter to CEO’s. "Set in a big-city psychiatric hospital, Wonderland offers only a very narrow view of our world, involving the most extreme cases."

NAMI also has organized a coalition of mental health organizations that have called for the White House to challenge stigma in the entertainment industry and is encouraging people with mental illnesses, their families and their friends to contact the show’s sponsors.

One sponsor, AtraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, maker of Prilosec, already has withdrawn support. During Wonderland’s premiere on March 30th, two commercials for Prilosec were aired.

"We are grateful for AstraZeneca’s responsiveness," Flynn declared. "Many people with mental illness rely on them for medication. They have assured us that placement of the commercials with the show was inadvertent and we hope other companies will follow their lead. Wonderland is not a show that any company that cares about people should want to be identified with."

Nielsen ratings published today in Daily Variety revealed that the premiere of the show also ran second behind a repeat of NBC’s ER in the same time slot and lost 22 percent of its audience in the second half-hour.


Following is a complete list of the companies that provided commercial sponsorship for the premiere of ABC's Wonderland. We encourage you to contact these companies urging them to withdraw their support to this offensive program.

ABC Wonderland Sponsors
March 30, 2000 Premiere

Ichiro Taniguchi, President & CEO
Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
Americas Corporate Office
5665 Plaza Drive
Cypress, CA 90630
714-220-2500 phone
714-229-3898 fax

Peter Vitulli
166 Highland Park Dr.
Bloomfiled, CT 06002

Bruce Rohde, Chairman & CEO
James P. O'Donnell, Executive VP
Orville Redenbacher
1 ConAgra Dr.
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
402-595-7294 fax

Schlotsky's Deli
3770 Realty Rd.
Addison, Texas 75001-4311
972-241-8200 phone

Arthur C. Martinez
Chairman/President & CEO
3333 Beverly Rd.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60719

Charles M. Berger, Chairman & CEO
James Hagedorn, President & COE
Miracle Gro
The Scotts Company
14111 Scottslawn Rd.
Marysville, OH 43041
937-644-0011 phone
937-644-0058 phone

Cynthia Truedell, CEO
Saturn Corporation
100 Saturn Pkwy.
Mail Drop S-24
Spring Hill, TN 37174
931-486-5000 phone

Danny Abraham, CEO
Slim Fast Foods Company
P.O. Box 3625
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
877-375-4632 phone
501-833-9920 phone

Stacey H. Davis, President & CEO
Fannie Mae Foundation
4000 Wisconsin Ave., NW
North Tower
Washington, DC 20016-2804
202-274-8100 fax

John F. Smith, Jr., CEO
Chevrolet Division
General Motors
100 Renaissance Dr.
Detroit, Michigan 48265
313-556-5000 phone

Dave Liniter, CEO
Remax Real Estate
8390 East Crescent Pkwy.
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
800-525-7452 phone

Ralph S. Larsen, Chairman & CEO
Johnson & Johnson & Merck
7050 Camp Hill Rd
Fort Washington, PA 19034
215-233-7000 phone

Monistat Healthy Woman
Advanced Care Products
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals
US Route 202
Raritan, NJ 08869
908-218-6000 phone

Gas X
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Paulo Costa, President & CEO
500 Morris Ave.
Summit, NJ 07901
800-548-3708 phone
908-277-7906 phone

Warner-Lambert Company
Lodewijk J.R. de Vink, Chairman,
President & CEO
John F. Walsh, VP,
President-Shaving Products Group
201 Tabor Rd.
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-2693
973-540-2000 phone

Yosho Inaba, President & CEO
19001 South Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90509
310-618-4000 phone

Marlo Furniture
Neil Glickfield, President
725 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
301-838-2999 phone
301-838-2970 fax

Payless ShoeSource, Inc.
Corporate Office
Ken Hicks, President
3231 SE Sixth St.
Topeka, KS 66607
785-233-5171 phone
785-354-9600 fax

Frugal Fannie's
Orrin Doxer, President
24 Wilson Way
Westwood, MA 02090
781-329-8990 phone

Wonderland Premiere Brings Call On White House To Fight Stigma In Entertainment Industry

NAMI Warns ABC Television: "Wonderland" Is Hazardous To Public Health

Letter from NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn to Vice-President for Broadcast Standards & Practices, ABC

Letter from NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn to Wonderland Executive Producer, Peter Berg

Focus Group Report Analyzes First Two Wonderland Episodes


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