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The Blonde, the Beeper, and a Whole Lot of Static


Have you seen this woman? The leggy blonde in a tight-fitting, thigh-exposing outfit? She's on billboards and posters all over town, amorously straddling that obscure and unlikely object of desire--a beeper.

The electronics store behind these ads is the object of some irate messages from women.

"We've received numerous complaints from our membership who feel that this is clearly offensive, sexist and reinforces a misogynistic attitude even toward women in business," says Tammy Bruce, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Bruce says NOW has repeatedly protested both to J&J Imports, which sells the devices, as well to the manufacturer, Motorola Inc., whose name prominently appears in the ad. Neither, she says, has responded.

The president of J&J Imports, who identifies himself as J. J., says he hasn't heard any negative feedback. He adds that the company has experienced "a 100% increase in beeper sales" and says he plans more billboards.

At Motorola, a spokesperson acknowledges there have been many complaints about the ads, but says that as long as J&J Imports is selling a Motorola product, Motorola has no control over the use of the corporation's name in an ad. Still, the company is writing a letter asking J. J. to remove the ads.

J. J. seems surprised by the fuss. "I see a woman hugging a pager and she loves the pager," he says."That's it."

Being Too-Too Kind

The other night at rock 'n' roll Ralphs in Hollywood, a rocker dude with long hair and a leather jacket was waiting outside the store by the grocery-cart rack. A woman walked up, pushed her empty cart into the rack, and out came her 25-cent deposit.

"Do you want the quarter?" she asked the man, mistaking him for a homeless person.

"No," he replied with some disdain.

Which proves there's a definite downside to being too politically correct.

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