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Image is not everything, the idea and copy are

The lead sentence of your article "Image-conscious advertising," (BtoB, Feb. 14, p. 50), which states that "image is everything," couldn't be more wrong. Samuel Johnson said it best: "Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement."

If you don't offer readers a compelling reason-right up front-to read your ad, they won't. And your image is not that reason.

For the awful Xerox ad, your reviewer raves over "the brilliantly photographed image of the strawberries." If you think that makes for great advertising, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Bob Bly

Copywriter

Dumont, N.J.

rwbly@bly.com

Search engine providers must nurture confidence

I read with interest your article on organic search growth rates ("Organic search grows," Feb. 14, p. 18). As a b-to-b marketer who is enjoying-and suffering-the fruits of the paid search "game," I agree with the conclusions of Karen J. Bannan on the need for advertisers to optimize their mix of paid and organic search. On a related note, it will be interesting to see how Google, Yahoo! and others navigate the same waters as traditional publishers, which must maintain their editorial integrity while maximizing legitimate opportunities for revenue-generating business partners. It is critical that search engine providers ensure that our mutual customers have a high degree of confidence in the legitimacy of their content.

Greg Sutter

VP marketing, Datastream

Greenville, S.C.

greg.sutter@datastream.net

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