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This Valentine's Day card became an orphan

 
Published Feb. 16, 1997|Updated Sept. 30, 2005

For Beth Hudson and others who grew up with playground taunts about being adopted, the sarcastic greeting card she spotted was no funny Valentine.

"Valentine's Day is a day for love," she said. "It's not a day to play cruel, hateful jokes."

American Greetings, responding to complaints that began last month, apologized and discontinued a Valentine's card that shows a cartoon cat saying, "Sis, even if you were adopted, I'd still love you . . ."

On the inside: ". . . not that you are, of course. At least I don't think so. But, come to think of it, you don't really look like Mom or Dad. Gee, maybe you should get a DNA test or something. Oh well, don't worry about it. We all love you, even if your real parents don't. Happy Valentine's Day!"

Hudson, 32, who saw the card on American Greetings' Web site, wasn't laughing. "When you're given up for adoption, you're given up out of love to have a chance for a better life," she said. "It's not because they hate you or didn't love you."

American Greetings spokeswoman Laurie Henrichsen wouldn't say how many complaints were received, but said it was enough to be a problem.

Survey finds "I love you' calls fade with time

It probably comes as little surprise to those who have been married many years that as time goes on, fewer people call their spouses just to say "I love you."

A Louis Harris poll taken for AT&T Corp. found that 69 percent of the 1,001 respondents have made such a romantic call. Of those people who have made such a call, those who were dating or engaged were more likely to have done so recently than those who were married.

People married seven years or less were twice as likely to say they'd called recently than people married 20 years or more.

Exxon wants its tiger in your tank, not on display

Exxon Corp., which for years claimed to put a tiger in your gas tank, now says the big cats don't belong at service stations.

"The use of live tigers and other undomesticated animals in retail store promotions conducted by our company-operated stores" is prohibited, the biggest U.S. oil company said in a letter to field managers dated Jan. 29.

Exxon has used a logo of a friendly tiger as a corporate symbol for more than 50 years and has no plans to stop. However, a campaign by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals prompted the Irving, Texas-based company to set a policy on the use of live animals.

PETA said one of its investigators posed as a student to infiltrate a wildlife business that brought "exotic big cats" to an Exxon station promotion in Sanford in 1994.

During the promotion, the animals "were exposed to heavy traffic, noxious fumes and constant loud noise," the PETA investigator wrote in a report.

Ignore the competition and it'll make you pay

Many business people are so focused on their own companies they don't pay enough attention to what their rivals are doing, and that can be a big mistake.

Researchers from Stanford University and UCLA told Entrepreneur magazine that in an experiment they conducted, many executives found it hard to articulate what their competitors' motives and objectives were. The experiment placed executives on different teams, and many didn't notice competitors had taken certain actions.

"If your competitor makes a move and you don't notice, it can sneak up on you, take your market, even steal your customers," said David Montgomery, a Stanford marketing professor.

Dietitians frown on unhealthy airport food

When it comes to airport food, Seattle has more going for it than good coffee, while Milwaukee might be a little behind the times.

A survey released by the American Dietetic Association found healthy food choices at all 28 major airports surveyed _ with some quirks.

Fifteen airports did not have reduced-fat or low-fat muffins on the day they were evaluated; and 11 did not have skim milk.

Seattle/Tacoma drew high marks for its variety while Milwaukee lacked salads and low-fat yogurt.

_ Bloomberg Business News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.