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By United Press International   |   Aug. 27, 2004 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Complaints drive GM to pull Corvette ad

DETROIT, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Complaints about promoting underage and dangerous driving have prompted General Motors to pull its latest television ad for 2005 Corvettes.

"This is the first time I have seen an ad that glorified pre-teens driving a car," said Judith Stone, president of Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, one of the groups that complained.

The ad was created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald and began running at the start of the Summer Olympics, the Wall Street Journal said.

The ad campaign received extra attention because it was directed by filmmaker Guy Ritchie, husband of singer Madonna.

"We looked at all the feedback and reached the decision to pull the ad," said Noreen Pratscher, communications manager for Corvette.

On Sunday, a 5-year old boy in East St. Louis, Ill., drove his uncle's Cadillac for four blocks before pulling over and hitting a fence, the Detroit News said.


RNC says Kerry can't have it both ways

NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A top Republican Thursday accused Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry of trying to have it both ways as GOP leaders gathered in New York.

"Shadow groups formed for the expressed purpose of defeating President Bush and electing John Kerry have spent $63 million attacking the president, while John Kerry remained silent," Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie told members of GOP's national committee.

"But when anti-Kerry groups began to run ads against him," Gillespie said, "(Kerry) thunders in righteous indignation."

Kerry's accusation that the White House has been directing the activities of the anti-Kerry group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, does not measure up, he said. The mere fact people in the Swift Boat group knew White House adviser Karl Rove does not prove illegal activity, he added.

Likewise, Gillespie said, Kerry cannot hold up the fact that attorney Ben Ginsberg gave legal advice to the Swift Boat Veterans' group while serving as outside counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign as "evidence of illegal coordination when Bob Bauer serves as legal counsel to both the Kerry campaign and America Coming Together and Joe Sandler serves as general counsel to the Democratic National Committee and to Moveon.Org and Moving America Forward all at the same time."

"John Kerry can't have it both ways," Gillespie told the committee.


Experts warn against creative baby names

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The recent spate of strange celebrity baby names has experts warning unusual monikers can have a negative effect on "regular" children stuck with them.

Singer Erykah Badu named her baby girl Puma, actress Shannyn Sossamon named her son Audio Science and actor Rob Morrow named his child Tu -- as in Tu Morrow. Then there are Courteney and David Arquette, who named their little girl Coco and Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Chris Martin, whose daughter is named Apple.

Dr. Vincent Iannelli, a Dallas-area pediatrician, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that the social environment of celebrities allows their children to escape the teasing a regular kid would get in a small town or inner-city neighborhood.

Nancy Irwin, an expert in psychology, advised parents who want to name their children something out of the ordinary, to give them an ordinary middle name.

"If you do want to name him or her something trendy or extreme, combine it with a neutral middle name so that the child can choose later to go by that name if preferable," she said.


Report: Chief Illiniwek 'an embarrassment'

CHICAGO, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- An accreditation agency is criticizing the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for letting its American Indian mascot controversy harm its reputation.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools released a report Wednesday saying the school's Chief Illiniwek continues to divide and demoralize the campus and is "an embarrassment" causing many faculty and staff to avoid national forums due to the "hypocrisy they sense in the institution's continued use of the symbol," the Chicago Tribune reported.

"The real issue here is a troubling failure of enlightened leadership and shared governance by the board of a major world-class research university," the report stated.

The agency first cited the mascot as a problem in 1999 and is urging the school to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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