A small midwestern bank is enlisting images of puppies, cows, and babies in an ambitious marketing campaign aimed at increasing its sales of proprietary mutual funds.

"You want a fund that's exuberant but doesn't stray too far from home," says one puppy-themed flier that the banking company, Amcore Financial Inc. of Rockford, Ill., started distributing to 80,000 customers this week. "A fund that's steadfastly loyal to its owners and intelligently managed. In short, you want the pick of the litter."

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