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Saturday, January 15, 2011

PETA wants risqué ads on parking meters

J. DAVID McSWANE
Published: Friday, January 14,2011
SARASOTA - The controversial installment of parking meters downtown could get a boost from a national animal rights group that hopes to advertise on the meters — with scantily clad women selling an animal-free diet.
Key Documents:PETA's letter to Sarasota mayor (PDF - 249kb) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commonly called PETA, sent a letter to Mayor Kelly Kirschner Thursday expressing interest in advertising on the coming high tech parking kiosks.
The proposed image features a belly-shirted woman dressed as a police officer and reads “Going vegan is your ticket to good health.”
”We're sure that many of your residents dread the new revenue-raising parking meters that will soon line downtown Sarasota's curbs, but our idea will give drivers something to smile about,” PETA officials wrote in the letter. “We would like to pay the city to place ads on the new meters, featuring a sexy traffic cop.”
The message, PETA officials hope, will inspire Sarasotans to consider eating less meat as they park downtown.
“We are really hoping that Sarasotans will see our ad and that it will inspire them to get healthy and go vegan,” said Alicia Woempner, PETA's special projects manager. “We hope this ad will get some attention and get people's hearts racing.”
PETA, the Virginia-based animal rights group known for its controversial advertising across the nation, says it has not yet heard a response from Kirschner. Kirschner was among the commissioners that pushed for the meters amid outcry from local business owners who fear the meters will scare away business.
The City Commission made the final approval to pay $510,000 to bring in parking meters for more than 600 curb-side spots downtown before summer earlier this month.
PETA, Woempner said, was watching and saw the opportunity to advertise here, where “62 percent of Floridians are overweight or obese.”
“This really seemed like a perfect opportunity for this ad,” Woempner said. “Going vegan is the best way to get healthy.”
Mayor Kirschner has not yet returned phone calls, and PETA officials say they have not received a response from the city.
READ MORE AT:http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110114/BREAKING/110119864/2055/NEWS?Title=PETA-wants-risqu-eacute-ads-on-parking-meters

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