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April 4, 2001
Public Affairs Television, Inc.
450 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001
Dear Mr. Moyers,
It appears that White Rain was seriously misrepresented in your March 27th "Trade Secrets" report on the use of hazardous materials and the negligence of the chemical companies in informing their employees and consumers about the toxicity of certain chemicals.
In the segment describing the dangerous affects of vinyl chloride, we saw that you chose to use a 1960's era Whtie Rain Hair Spray commercial to illustrate how vinyl chloride was used as an aerosol propellant.
To set the record straight:
White Rain Hair Spray was first test-marketed in 1962 and launched nationwide in 1963. Our records, which date back to 1961, indicate that White Rain Hair Spray has never contained vinyl chloride as a propellant or other ingredient. White Rain has long been one of the top-selling hairsprays in the United States. Therefore we're sure you can understand our frustration and disappointment that these old ads were used in your program to illustrate the dangers of vinyl chloride.
The White Rain Company (a private company which acquired the White Rain hair-care brands from The Gillette Company in April 2000) is dedicated to providing consumers with shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are of the highest quaility in the value segment. We would like you to "clear the air," and take some action to acknowledge the misrepresetnation of White Rain. Please have someone on your staff call me so we can discuss this, ideally before April 5th.
Thank you for your time and attention.
The White Rain Company
April 11, 2001
The White Rain Company
Lee Farm Corporate Park
83 Wooster Heights Road
Danbury, CT 06810
Dear Mr. Raymond,
Thank you for your recent letter concerning Trade Secrets.
Our intention in using the White Rain commercial was to illustrate the unstinting use of hairspray on popular hairstyles in the 1960's, and not necessarily the use of vinyl chloride. We think the context makes this clear. Nevertheless, we understand your desire to inform the public that the propellant used for the White Rain product in particular never included vinyl chloride and we are pleased to assist in that.
We have therefore posted your letter at the program website, www.pbs.org/tradesecrets, to which the program refers, in the ACC Response section off of the home page. We have done this prominently, including a conspicuous link in the hairspray article within the Secrecy section and another from the Program page.
We hope this addresses your concern.
Program Excerpts: Hairspray
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