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Transportation & transvestites

Viteri TBWA, Quito, plays up a local taboo in the debut TV spot for Ecuador's first online auto dealership. The ad for uses the image of a transvestite. Agency Planning Director Gonzalo Viteri says Ecuadorans associate transvestites with street prostitution, and transvestites often ply their trade in the back seats of customers' cars. The :20 features a man dressed as a woman, who says patiodeautos "has even more experience than I do with cars." The agency couldn't find a transvestite or even an actor for the role because of longstanding discrimination against gays (Ecuador only recently repealed the part of its penal code that made homosexuality a crime). So agency CEO Alvaro Viteri donned a wig and dress for the ad. Paul Villacrese, general manager of the dot-com, says the campaign "has been a total success."

Quadruple your pleasure

It's a lad, lad, lad, lad world. Four different covers are featured for the November edition of lad mag Maxim, its first-ever "Models of the Year" issue. It's also the magazine's first split-run cover. In case you have any doubt about the value of the covers, they will be labeled "Collector's Cover #1 of 4," etc.

JWT hamster high jinks

The folks at J. Walter Thompson USA's Houston office dreamed up a fun new game to raise money for the United Way: They invented Hamster Bingo, raising $100 daily. Mug shots of all 60 staffers were placed on squares on a giant card; at the center was an image of the Commodore himself. Every workday at 3 p.m. during the week of Sept. 25, a hamster was placed in the center of the board, a staffer explains. JWT-ers bought squares where they believed the animal would make a "deposit." Squares of certain department heads sold quickly. Office GM Mike McDonald was traveling and unavailable for comment.

`Journal' art rates an F (word)

The tastefully written Wall Street Journal got a little curse-ive in its artwork last week. Barry Ritholtz, a tech strategist at a NY investment bank, notes the art on P. B18 of the Oct. 10 issue -- accompanying an article titled "Dot-com dip makes those taking the leap think twice" -- featured images of three Web sites, including Although the site itself currently obscures its logo (with the explanation "logo concealed to protect the innocent"), the f-word appears again in smaller type for the section heading "Recent Fucks." Is its appearance in the Journal an F-first? Dow Jones & Co. spokesman Dick Tofel says a Factiva search for the f-word and "wall street journal" turned up no matches in the Journal itself. He adds: "I stared at this [art on the page] for 2 minutes, and I didn't see it till you pointed it out." Admittedly, it took Adages at least 2 minutes to find the word too. Tofel continues: "In the graphic there are about 50 things far more legible, and to find that word in here is like playing `Where's Waldo?'." As for policy on using the word in articles, Tofel says, "It's certainly our practice to use `f' and a dash in news when we think it's necessary." But you can't do that in the f - - - ing art.

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