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By Christopher Johnson

Baby Games

The classic "baby face" has identified Gerber baby food products for over 65 years. But even with such national notoriety, Gerber recently ran into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misleading advertising claims. The ad campaign, which ran for the first half of 1996, claimed that four out of five pediatricians recommend Gerber baby food. Out of 562 doctors surveyed, 67 of the respondents said they recommended Gerber--which is only 12 percent. The "four-out-of-five" claim was based on the fact that only 76 of the doctors recommended a specific brand, and of this group, 67 chose Gerber. According to the FTC, Gerber skewed the results of the survey to move from a recommendation of 12 percent to 80 percent, and that action misled consumers.

Hot State of Cool

Not that Time magazine should set anyone's standards, but free publicity that's not about the Hantavirus never hurts either. Time's May 26 "What's Cool This Summer" selected New Mexico as the coolest state. They sum up their reasoning for this honor in one word: Roswell. Other New Mexican treasures were listed as Los Alamos, Georgia O'Keeffe and the Taos Pueblo Powwow.

Ben-Hur is the NRA

Charlton Heston is the new first vice president of the National Rifle Association. The actor is now in a position to seek the NRA presidency should he choose to do so next year. Membership has slumped from 3.5 million members in 1995 to 2.8 million today--coincidentally about the time Timothy McVeigh was arrested for the Oklahoma bombing and proudly declared his NRA membership on national TV. Maybe the man who has thesped characters from Moses in The Ten Commandments to a slave to simians in Planet of the Apes can generate renewed interest in gun rights.

Sani-Flush

Utne Reader took a swipe at Santa Fe on the cover of its May-June issue, "The 10 Most Enlightened Towns in America (and we don't mean Santa Fe)." The typically uneven bimonthly--which bills itself as "the best of the alternative media"--may conscionably be able to add "schizophrenia" to its vita. Although the city got panned on Utne's cover, Santa Fe was the New Mexico pick, alongside the selected runners-up by state. I'll ask you again: "Are you sure you don't mean Santa Fe?"

--Christopher Johnson

chris.johnson@alibi.com

"Baby Games" by Travis Chapman




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