Actually, the Almanac, in which we advertise and whose predictions we follow closely, was not too far off on their predictions on the weather last winter. However, last fall one of the major car companies (I don't remember which one) was advertising heavily on radio that it was going to be an extremely cold, snowy winter and that 4-wheel-drive vehicles would be very important to own. There was a sort of "experts predict" statement made as well.
It wasn't a member of the media that got everybody so worked up, but rather an advertiser.
George Ball Jr.
E. Atlee Burpee & Co.
Responding to Rance Crain's editorial column of July 17 ("A fan to baseball: `You're outta here!"): I, too, am boycotting baseball, forgoing visits to Yankee Stadium; staying away from weekend afternoon games, which I used to listen to on the radio; even walking out of the room when my husband and son watch games on TV. For me, professional games will forever be tarnished.
However, I have found joy in Mudville. My son plays Little League and this past spring I went to every game to watch him in the outfield and cheer for him at bat. And then, this summer, he returned for the third year to baseball camp, where the coaches nurtured each boy, showing rare patience that would be amazing in an adult and seems miraculous in these college kids.
My son truly loves the game of baseball. He loves to practice, he loves the uniforms, he loves to play the game, and does so with a joy and abandon that makes me hopeful for the future of this most poetic of sports.
As long as there are children who slide into second with glee, who hit bloopers out to centerfield and manage to eke out a single, who can stay focused on that little white ball catching up with a hunk of carved wood, who take pride in the fact that they can spit, scratch and curse with the best of them, then I know that baseball will survive.
For your "Ads we could do without"-from a catalog selling telephone supplies, telling the reader they can be reached no matter where they are.
Is this what they mean by "toilet humor?"
Atlantic City, N.J.
During my childhood, Arthur Godfrey was still around on TV and radio. He seldom missed a chance to aim some barbs at his advertisers. One morning he tackled Lever Bros. Pepsodent toothpaste, quoting from the Pepsodent package: "To open tube, grasp gnarled ring of cap between thumb and forefinger and rotate counterclockwise." The point of his jab was that anyone who could understand that instruction was smart enough to remove the cap without special tutoring.
Today I took a package of Lever 2000 liquid soap from a supply shelf in my office. Printed on the back, complete with illustrative artwork, was "Opening instructions: Tighten cap clockwise, then turn the pump counterclockwise to release. Pump until product dispenses easily."
It gives me comfort to know that the folks at Lever are still keeping us up to speed on the effective use of product containers, and that the wit and wisdom of Arthur Godfrey lives on.
President, Marquest Research
Thanks to Bob Garfield for taking such an articulate and unequivocal stand against Calvin Klein (I find it fitting-no pun intended-that his surname means "little" in German). One can only further despise someone who has already made so much money.....Surely it couldn't be more money that he needs; did he not get enough attention from Mummy or Daddy?
Those who regard this sort of trash as "marketing genius" must be the same ones who are trying to sell that 3-foot doll of Kato Kaelin! It is altogether quite, quite loathsome.
Good for Bob Garfield; I'll bet his lucidly voiced sentiments speak for more than just myself. Being myself, I would hope, neither a zealot nor a prig, merely a child of the '60s who has come full circle in her beliefs, I can only agree with you that he has indeed crossed a line that should have been left untouched.
Mary Lee Johnson
I bought Advertising Age especially to read Jim Brady's article about Calvin Klein (AA, Sept. 4). It was worth it.
I am surprised that he was content to call sources and print what they said instead of trusting the evidence of his eyes. We were all so astonished by the canceling of the jeans campaign that we did not notice the pulling of other campaigns. Gone are the TV ads for Escape and Obsession, two of his perfumes. The ad for Eternity, the only Calvin Klein product currently advertised in this market, has obviously been re-edited.
It is not just Calvin Klein advertising that has been affected. Dior had a perfume advertisement of a naked lady's torso photographed in profile, with only a strategically placed scarf. I have not seen that ad since August.
It will be interesting to watch the Christmas perfume advertising.
There is such a thing as bad PR. Calvin Klein's name will be forever linked with kiddie porn the way Richard Nixon's is with cover-up. A designer seeks to create an image the prospect will identify with, the aristocratic splendor of Ralph Lauren, the Manhattan sophistication of Donna Karan. In this company you do not want to come across as a creepy old man in a raincoat.
Advertising Age welcomes letters to the editor, but we ask that they be held to no more than 250 words in length. The editors reserve the right to edit letters for style and/or clarity. Address letters to Advertising Age, Viewpoint Editor, 740 Rush St., Chicago 60611. Fax: (312) 649-5331. Letters can also be posted through the Ad Age Bulletin Board on Prodigy, or by Prodigy E-Mail at EHBU73A@prodigy.com.