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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February 2005, 12:15 GMT
Mother auctions ad space on bump
Pregnant woman
The adverts have a limited shelf life

A mother-to-be from New Zealand has run an online auction selling advertising space on her pregnant tummy.

Julz Thomson, whose baby is due in March, made NZ$255 (96) when she put her bulge up for auction on the internet last week.

The highest bid came from a businessman in Auckland whose company uses the slogan: "The mailman always delivers".

Ms Thomson has agreed to wear a T-shirt with the advert every day until her baby is born next month.

"It's a bargain for daily advertising until the middle of March," said businessman Lawrence Raukete.

The idea came from her fiance, Gerrard Simmons, who realised how many times a day people asked the question: "When is the baby due?"

"I guess that's how it is when you're pregnant. That's the question most-often asked. I get stopped by people in supermarkets, in the street, anywhere," Ms Thomson told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

Novel idea

The couple put their listing up on the web for five days with a notice explaining: "Your logo or advert will be placed on a T-shirt that you will supply which I will wear 24/7 on my 7 1/2-month pregnant bump, until baby is born. Baby is due on 18 March."

One of the unsuccessful bids came from a motel owner who wanted the T-shirt to read: "I got this way at Ol Alfie's motel".

Julz Thomson said she had received considerable support for the scheme from other pregnant women, though some people had suggested she was simply exploiting her pregnancy.

"Some said I was exploiting my baby but the money will go towards a few extras to spoil him when he is born."

The idea has generated so much interest that Ms Thomson is considering setting up her own business to put pregnant women in touch with would-be advertisers.

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