Mascots Vie to Be No. 1 Ad Icon

"If you'd like to sell Methodist Waffles or Catholic Bran Flakes, you're free to do so," says author Laura Lee in The Name's Familiar.

The Frito Bandito came under similar fire in the 1960s, with some Hispanics complaining that the mustachioed, singing corn chip bandit was an ethnic stereotype. 6. Woodsy Owl Endangered:

Smokey Bear's "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" sidekick became something of an endangered species in the mid-1980s. The U.S. Forest Service stopped using Woodsy Owl when controversy erupted over the spotted owl.

The timber industry clashed with environmentalists, who argued that logging was endangering the rare bird. The Forest Service feared that if Woodsy appeared at a state fair, some folks in logging communities would be upset. Some people even suggested Woodsy should adopt a new slogan: "Give a Hoot, Don't Shoot!"

Woodsy, however, has a higher profile again, and often appears with Smokey at events. He re-emerged in the mid-1990s with a sleek design and a new slogan: "Lend a Hand, Care for the Land."

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to know when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.

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