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Monroe Hospital: Laughter is Best Medicine for Unwelcome Publicity
Date:2/19/2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- An error in the most recent edition of the local AT&T phone book and the Yellow Book directed Monroe Hospital callers to an entirely different kind of service -- an adult entertainment hotline. And callers who expected to schedule their next appointment instead found they could get anything they wanted for "$3.99 a minute," according to the hotline.

Both an advertisement and a phone number listing in the white pages featured correct phone numbers. But the number listed in the Yellow Book, which publishers claim was pulled from a database, leads to very different results. A Google search for Monroe Hospital also features both the correct number and the hotline.

The mistake quickly hit local and some national news outlets, including msnbc.com and the Cartoons/Humor section of the New York Times' web site. In a Jan. 13 article in the Bloomington-based Herald-Times, Matthew French, Monroe Hospital's vice president of business development and marketing, said the hospital received numerous calls from local residents since the number was released.

"Some say they are surprised," he said. "Others say they want to know how in the world it happened. We'd like to know as well." And while the hospital investigated the source of the error, Monroe CEO Fred Price called on their advertising agency, Jackson Integrated, to seize the opportunity and publish a light-hearted, full-page apology ad in the Herald-Times, with the headline "Here for almost all your needs."

"While this mishap was out of our control, we do apologize for any offense or inconvenience anyone may have experienced as a result," the ad read. "And we want to remind everyone that we're in the business of providing patients with a choice for their emergency, primary and specialized healthcare needs." The ad concludes, "So when you want to hear the voice that's committed to
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SOURCE Monroe Hospital
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