A Clean Record is Only a Lap Dance Away.
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 96 11:19:25 -0700
Subject: A Clean Record is Only a Lap Dance Away.
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
TOPLESS TRAFFIC SCHOOL ADS DRIVE STATE INVESTIGATORS TO DISTRACTION
-- By Kathleen A. Hughes, Special to The Wall Street Journal
Life isn't very glamorous at the Bureau of Investigations for California's
Department of Motor Vehicles. Investigators spend most of their days
tracking down fake drivers licenses.
Then came the Topless Traffic School.
The case started in June when three billboards appeared in Los Angeles
showing the silhouette of a naked woman with a graduation cap and a
pointer. The copy reads: "Topless Traffic School. One-on-one
instruction. State certified. Tipping accepted. Must be 21+. A Clean
Record is Only a Lap Dance Away."
The phone began to ring off the hook at the DMV, which regulates
California's wacky collection of traffic schools. Motorists with traffic
violations can attend a safety class at the schools to avoid receiving a
black mark on their record. To compete for business, the schools offer
everything from comedians to pizza parties. "Everyone wanted to know, is
this true?" says Commander Vito Scattaglia at the Bureau of
Edmond Reid, a senior special investigator, was assigned to the case. He
tried to call the phone number on the ad but couldn't get through. He
finally went to the office of Gannett Outdoor, the Gannett Co. division
that owns some of the billboards. Executives there said the ad was paid
for by Buzz Magazine, a Los Angeles lifestyle publication. Another ad in
the tongue-in-cheek series said, "Balkan Screenplay Exchange. Sell your
rejected screenplays to developing countries!"
Investigator Reid wasn't amused. He asked the magazine to remove "state
certified" and "traffic" from the ads.
No go. Jenny Isaacson, Buzz's marketing director, argued that the
campaign was scheduled to come down soon. And, as planned, explanatory
banners were added to the billboards saying, "Just Testing. Buzz
Magazine. L.A.'s Monthly Reality Check." She says the phone number was
supposed to connect callers to a tape explaining the spoof. But so many
people called and left messages that the tape kept filling up.
Some traffic schools are annoyed. "It's kind of sexist," says Belle
Capacete, a manager of several schools, including Pizza for You-Comedians
2. Ken Pugeda of Redondo Beach Traffic School says students have asked
about the Topless Traffic School, and he doesn't find the idea feasible.
"I don't know how you could concentrate on traffic safety," he says.
© 1996 Peter Langston