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Hallmark Halts Shipment Of Alcohol-Related Graduation Cards

June 2, 1988

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Hallmark Cards Inc. said it had stopped making graduation cards containing humorous references to drinking after they got a cool reception from a Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter.

Hallmark decided Tuesday ″to discontinue manufacturing and shipping alcohol-related graduation cards,″ Diane Wall, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City-based company, said Wednesday.

However, Janet Cater, director of the Orange County, Calif., chapter of MADD, said Hallmark had not done enough because the cards were still available in some stores.

Ms. Wall said the graduation season is nearly over and that the cards would soon been removed from store shelves. The company said the decision to withdraw cards was up to retailers.

Two stores in Anaheim, Calif., pulled the cards at the request of CASA, an Orange, Calif.-based group that works against drinking, drug use and pregnancy among teen-agers, said organization chairwoman Jane Wyner.

″Every day these cards are on the market, they are going to be selling,″ she said. ″This has to be nipped right away.″

The controversy arose last week when parents of students at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., showed MADD officials two cards.

One card, depicting a refrigerator filled with beer and a single egg, advises, ″Don’t go to graduation without a good breakfast first.″

Another suggests that graduates wear loose-fitting gowns so they can ″hide at least two bottles of champagne underneath.″

″How can a company which advertises ‘When you care enough to send the very best, send Hallmark,’ produce cards which encourage alcohol and drunken driving?″ asked Ms. Cater.

″Hallmark offers about 600 graduation card designs, and less than 1 percent deal with alcohol-related subject matter,″ said Ms. Wall. ″It is a very small percentage.″

The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Grad Night Foundation, which promotes sober graduations, is urging Orange County members to ask shops to pull the cards, said foundation director Lori Warmington.

″This is such a national issue now,″ Ms. Warmington said. ″Incidents like this really fan the flames. It’s inconceivable (Hallmark) can be so lacking in sensitivity.″

″We are certainly concerned, and we feel our actions are an appropriate response,″ replied Ms. Wall.

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