AD CREATIVITY WILL SURVIVE; FEMALE CLIMBER NOT FIRST; ONE-ON-ONE ON HAND; BATES PURCHASE CHANGED A LOT; PR CAN GAIN FROM IMC; EXPLAINING THE TALENT SHORTAGE

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Jack Feuer ("Don't talk about `creative' when you talk interactive," AA, April 25) thinks the interactive future will be the Home Shopping Club with order buttons.

But he should log on to the In- ternet sometime and discover the innovative ways real companies are beginning to market real products and services.

The Internet community's abhorrence of aggressive, unsolicited commercial messages forces marketers to cloak their sell in interesting, substantial information. Witness the explosion of electronic journals and online information plazas such as O'Reilly & Associates' Global Network Navigator. Commercial speech in an interactive environment will be less commercial, more speech and more effective.

Mr. Feuer's lament about the coming death of advertising creativity is unfounded. Advertising creativity will change, not die. Advertisers and their agencies will confront the challenges of information-pull environments such as the Internet with guile and wit.

Michael P. Gallagher

Director of marketing planning

and business development

National Trade Productions

Alexandria, Va.

Regarding the item "Vaseline at the peak" (AA, May 2): Forgive me for bringing Chesebrough-Pond's Vaseline sliding back to earth, but Sandy Hill Pittman's climb of Everest is not the first by a woman.

As recently as last year the Queen presented Rebecca Stevens with an Order of the British Empire for her successful climb to the summit of the world's tallest mountain, sponsored by Rupert Murdoch's News International Corp.

Matthew Patten

Client services director

Orbit International Sponsorship

London

Should Sandy Hill Pittman reach the summit, she will not be the first woman to do so. In 1975 Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to scale Everest, and in 1988 Stacey Allison became the first American woman to do so. In total, about a dozen women have summitted Mt. Everest thus far.

Mark D. O'Day

Director of marketing

Veryfine Products

Westford, Mass.

Editor's note: With the Everest climb, Ms. Pittman is attempting to become the first woman to conquer the "Seven Peaks," the highest mountain on each continent.

We appreciate your noting that One-On-One Sports Radio Network secured the rights to broadcast the World Cup games here in English (AA, May 9), and we're proud to add that we'll be capturing the action in the nine host cities across the country from June 17 to June 30. We'll also carry the final championship game that airs from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 17.

Formerly SEN, Las Vegas, our new radio network is now located in Northbrook, Ill., and will number roughly 150 stations covering 80% of the U.S. Besides the World Cup broadcasts, our network originates live from Chicago and Las Vegas 24 hours a day, seven days a weeek with a live all-sports talk format, targeting the 25-to-54 male listener.

Carolyn K. Phillips

Director of marketing, One-on-One Sports Radio Network

Northbrook, Ill.

Your feature, "A look back at 50 years of agency history" (AA, April 13), gave a bare three agate lines to an event in 1986 that proved to be one of the most far-reaching and significant in agency-client relationships of the past several decades.

That year Saatchi & Saatchi bought the venerable Ted Bates agency for a mind-blowing figure of $507 million! It's president, Bob Jacoby, received $112.6 million for his interest in the agency!

Most agency and corporate executives believe this event marked the turning point in agency-client relationships and completely changed the perception advertisers had of the agency business.

Corporate executives earning good salaries in the lower and middle six figures were shocked. They said, "If agencies have that much money to spend on acquisitions, then we are paying them far too much!"

This marked the beginning of the deterioration of the commission system as it was then structured and the loss of respect and loyalty on the part of advertisers. ... Clients are changing agencies at a rate never before experienced.

Today, when an agency receives a 30-page-plus questionnaire from an advertiser looking to change shops, there is always present, in one subtle form or another, the question, "How cheaply will you work?"

It all started with the Saatchi & Saatchi Bates acquisition. Now, eight years later, the Bates name is being revived worldwide, and the highly respected name of Backer & Spielvogel is about to disappear. How soon we forget!

Jerry Fields

Jerry Fields Associates

New York

In "College kids learn a degree of synergy" (AA, April 4), the fear that traditional public relations was being subsumed by advertising and marketing was raised.

It has been the assumption of the tiny fraction of public relations naysayers to the integrated marketing communications process that the important subjects of issues management, investor relations, crisis management, employee communications and media relations are not connected to marketing in any way.

My advice: Don't tell the CEO, or the functions will be gone, outsourced or discredited.

At Northwestern University's Department of Integrated Marketing Communications we teach each of those important functions. ... Clearly the role of employees is crucial in the marketing success of a firm; the role of investors at times is equally important, and the role of issues management can anticipate marketing risks. .*.*. Other IMC programs, including the University of Colorado's, cover these topics as well.

What is discouraging about traditional public relations education has been its failure to recognize the power (and budget leverage) PR gains in a strategic alliance with advertising and marketing.

Clarke L. Caywood

Director of the graduate program in corporate public relations

Northwestern University

Evanston, Ill.

I read the article "Star Search" (AA, March 21) with amusement. After slugging it out in the advertising field for 15 years, I'm not surprised there is a shortage of talent.

There is a shortage because talent is unwelcome, creativity is a threat to whomever is in charge, everyone is afraid of the clients and young people are either squeezed out or bored to death on production assignments.

People enter this field because they want to use their brains and do dynamic work, yet they are drained dry for award-winning ideas, paid low wages and fired whenever management get nervous. If I happen to meet a young person who expresses an interest in advertising, I tell them to run, don't walk, away from this field.

My reaction to the "Star Search" article: Advertising gets what it deserves, finally.

Mel Gherardi

Coppell, Texas

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