[MOL] Mayor may sue over ad exploiting his cancer.... [02242] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Mayor may sue over ad exploiting his cancer....



MAYOR MAY SUE OVER AD EXPLOITING HIS CANCER


August 27, 2000

NEW YORK -- Angry over the use of his face on billboard advertising as far away as Oshkosh, Wis., Mayor Rudolph Giuliani repeated a threat to file suit against an animal rights group that is trying to publicize a possible link between milk consumption and various illnesses, including prostate cancer.

"The ad is tasteless," Giuliani said Friday, adding that he would decide over the weekend whether to sue the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is based in Norfolk, Va. "My illness is a very public matter, which I am fine with, but I don't like people exploiting it, either."

The mayor's threat of legal action did not appear to have deterred the animal rights group, which said it would put up more of the billboards.

The dispute centers on ads that the group, known as PETA, has posted this week in three cities in milk-producing areas--Lancaster, Pa., and Oshkosh and Appleton in central Wisconsin. The ads parody the "Got Milk?" campaign sponsored by the dairy industry, and are dominated by what appears to be an oversize mug shot of Giuliani with a band of white--intended to look like milk--above his upper lip.

A brief text reads "Got prostate cancer?" Below that phrase, it asserts, "Drinking milk contributes to prostate cancer."

PETA, known for its strident tactics in promoting animal rights, said the ad was intended to protest the dairy industry, not Giuliani.

Bruce Friedrich, the group's vegetarian-campaign coordinator, said on Friday that PETA hoped the ad would draw attention to studies that have raised the possibility of a link between dairy consumption and several types of serious illnesses including prostate cancer.

 
 
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