Pick out a clean shirt and you get an ad

Does pinpoint advertising - directed at a specialized clientele - hit the mark? A local automotive dealer thinks so. And that's why, among other media, European Motors Ltd. has selected shirtboards to push its new Mercedes-Benz. Yes , shirtboards. Those gray cardboard things that usually go directly into the trash after a freshly laundered shirt is unwrapped.

According to officials of the Madison Shirtboard Company of Vancouver, British Columbia, some 50,000 laundry customers in areas of northern California are getting their clean linen returned wrapped around glossy advertising produced by the Canadian company.

Executives of the Mercedes-Benz dealership say the ads are aimed at shirt-wearers in affluent California areas where family income could allow buying this $25,000 addition to the Daimler-Benz line.

Most Bay Area laundries using the system like the preprinted shirtboards. They used to cost about 5 cents plain, but now they come preprinted at no charge. European Motors pays 3 cents a unit for the printing and the distribution is handled entirely by the laundries.

Advice on cutting corporate travel budgets

Are corporate travel budgets running too high?

The tab for everything from soup to nuts comes to $90 billion in the United States, according to the 1984-85 American Express Survey of Business Travel.

Airline frequent-flier programs were cited as an area of extra expense. One way to discourage abuse of such programs is to require travelers to ask for flights based on approximate arrival and departure times rather than by specific carrier or flight number.

The survey stresses setting up a travel policy calling for such things as picking the lowest fares and hotels with corporate discounts.

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