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Oakland Ballet Withdraws ‘Virgin’ Billboard Ad

November 23, 1995

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ The Oakland Ballet is pulling a billboard ad campaign that was just too too sexy for its tutus.

Billboards showed two ballet dancers and read: ``Go ahead, take another date to miniature golf, and die a virgin. Oakland Ballet. You just might like it.″

One of the ads appeared across from San Lorenzo High School, where an assistant principal said it sent the wrong message.

``I don’t know if it’s an appropriate thing to be aimed at our high school,″ Sheryl Cambra said. ``They are suggesting being a virgin is bad.″

The ballet received only one formal complaint _ from a parent _ about the 20 billboards around Oakland, but directors decided they didn’t want the controversy, said marketing director Rick Gydesen.

``A lot of people like it and have no problem with it,″ Gydesen said. ``But there are other people who are more conservative and from another generation.″

The billboards, which were being taken down Wednesday, were part of the ballet’s campaign to widen its audience.