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Horning In On A Sexual Myth


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HORNING IN ON A SEXUAL MYTH

EXXON HAS A tiger, Met Life has Snoopy, Disney has Mickey. But what's your corporate mascot if you're in the business of combating impotence? Vivus, a pioneer in this growing field, has adopted the rhinoceros. The Menlo Park (Calif.) company unveiled the symbol in its recent annual report. Says Barbara Clark, Vivus' head of investor relations, a rhino with a zesty, upturned horn was chosen partly because he's "a pretty macho animal."

There's also an environmental angle. Rhinos are endangered because of a myth that their horns yield a powerful aphrodisiac and impotence remedy. Vivus' main product, now undergoing clinical trials, is more prosaic: a special device that inserts a drug to produce an erection. Vivus' annual report deadpans that the company hopes this product will be so successful it will "help protect the rhinoceros from extinction."EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Joan O'C. Hamilton


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