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WESTSIDE WATCH

Fudging It in the Name of Advertising

August 21, 1994

Nothing like homemade signs.

Some make their mark with creative spelling, like the "Sabmarine Sandwich" number we spotted in Santa Monica the other day. No wonder that one wound up in something less than marquee position--at the sandwich shop's back entrance.

Then there are the telephone pole signs, which sometimes work so well together. Consider the "Lose Weight" and "Fudge" signs we spotted--one above the other--on a pole in Marina del Rey. A symbiotic advertising strategy if there ever was one.

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A GOOD TURN WITH MANY TWISTS: Being a good Samaritan isn't easy.

Recently, the Acapulco/Beverly Hills Sister City program arranged to have a kidney dialysis machine donated and shipped to a public hospital in Acapulco.

At the dedication ceremony in February, the donors were warmly thanked for the expensive blood cleansing machine, but were told that nobody at the hospital knew how to operate it.

"Well, it was quite a surprise, finding out they couldn't use the thing," said Janet Salter, a Beverly Hills' member of the sister city program.

Undaunted, Salter and her husband, former Beverly Hills Mayor Max Salter, agreed to put up a doctor and two nurses from the Acapulco hospital while they were trained on the kidney dialysis machine. During the six-week training program, the Salters and other volunteers shuttled the visitors between Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and downtown Los Angeles.

Last week, Salter was informed the kidney dialysis machine will need filters and other expensive supplies to keep it running. And a technician may need to come to Los Angeles to learn how to maintain the machine. And Acapulco's water supply needs to be sampled. And the Acapulco hospital's water pressure needs to be checked.

Said Salter: "We should have just sent bandages."

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CAR TALK: Granted, it is the socially conscious '90s. So maybe it shouldn't be surprising that a car manufacturer is trying to reach women (51% of the population and 49% of all car buyers) by hosting a discussion of women's issues--in a car showroom.

The Infiniti luxury car division of Nissan Motor Corp. is hosting its third annual Infiniti Women's Forum, a nationwide event. Invited guests will take to the showrooms (on the Westside, the company's showroom in Beverly Hills) to hear a discussion on women's issues ranging from health care to career success to female unity.

The Beverly Hills event will feature a discussion titled "Women Today: Coping, Leading, Succeeding."

And, it might be added, buying.

Kathy Faith, Nissan Division news bureau coordinator, says no sales representatives will be present at the showroom discussions. But clearly, the company hopes that participants will take stock of their surroundings.

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