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."

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