Puppies, political views aren’t as advertised

Someone’s playing mean.

Patrick Rotchford, who owns a Coeur d’Alene window tinting company, can’t get bargain hunters to leave him alone after bogus ads appeared in the latest issue of Nickel’s Worth claiming he had cheap cars for sale and free puppies in need of homes.

But that’s not all. Another prank ad describes his company, Tint Works, as a proud supporter of a group that promotes consensual sex between men and boys, as well as a civil rights organization and a liberal Internet site.

Rotchford could not be reached for comment, but he told Coeur d’Alene police he has received hundreds of phone calls as a result of the fake ads. The answering machine at his company advises: “Someone’s playing a practical joke and decided to put an ad in there for things that don’t exist.”

Nickel’s Worth, owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review, is publishing retractions in Friday’s edition. It also now requires people to show identification in addition to providing their names and phone numbers when placing ads, said Jessica Geiger, an ad taker at the paper.

Geiger said the man who placed the ads identified himself as Rotchford and correctly gave Rotchford’s business address, and business and cell phone numbers. The ads for vehicles and puppies didn’t raise any red flags, she said. Nor did the ad proclaiming the company’s support for the Rainbow Coalition civil rights group, MoveOn or NAMBLA, but Geiger explained that no one in the office knew at the time that NAMBLA is the acronym for the North American Man Boy Love Association.

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