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FOOTNOTES

Humor Doesn't Hit Home

February 22, 1988

Call it a misplaced sense of humor or, perhaps, truth in lending. Either way, Wells Fargo was red-faced when 7,000 customers recently got the following message on the bottom of their monthly home-equity loan statements:

"You owe your soul to the company store. Why not owe your home to Wells Fargo? An equity advantage loan can help you spend what would have been your children's inheritance."

Kim Kellogg, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco bank, said it was all a mistake by some yet-to-be-uncovered computer operators who had been working on a test for a marketing pitch for the bottom of the statements.

The message, she said, was because of a "misplaced sense of humor."

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