ANTI-SMOKING MESSAGES; RECRUITING BLACK STUDENTS; WE DID IT FIRST; DISPUTES SALES CLAIM; 'MARBLES' AUTHOR HAD IT RIGHT; DROWNING IN MAIL

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This letter is in response to your editorial suggesting that it is time for the federal government to acknowledge the reality of anti-tobacco advertising (AA, Aug. 24). The government has in fact done so through the ASSIST (American Stop Smoking Intervention Study) Project. The Essex and Union County Coalition received $5,000 last year and $24,000 this year for this purpose.

To date, we have been refused by the NJ Transit (trains and buses) since they have a contract with the tobacco industry preventing them from accepting anti-tobacco ads through 1996. We have also been refused by Chesapeake Outdoor Advertising of Union, N.J., for the same reason. We have had no reply from Gannett Outdoor. Keep in mind we are not asking for public service ads but rather paid advertising.

I find it interesting that the tobacco companies believe in their First Amendment rights to advertise, but exclude citizen coalitions from these same rights.

Lorraine Kowalski

Field director

ASSIST Program

Elizabeth, N.J.

In response to your Nov. 28 article, "Working on diversity:"

As an African-American graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in marketing (1991), I am all too aware of the difficulties involved in obtaining employment with advertising agencies. I was rejected not only for employment, but also early on for the "highly revered" college internship. As a result, I was never able to get an entry level position just to get my foot in the door.

However, it wasn't just the lack of being given an opportunity that I found to be humiliating. It was and is the failure of corporate America to recognize that our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities are not the only educators of African-American college students. Black college students can be recruited from practically every university in this country. If the advertising industry is genuinely sincere about diversifying, I would urge it to widen its recruiting efforts.

Janeen L. Ebster

Park Forest, Ill.

As a long time reader of Ad Age, I was surprised when I read a factual error in your Nov. 21 issue. In a picture caption, Seagram Corp. claims it will run the first light-up print advertising insert ever used in a magazine.

Sorry, but they missed being first by 4 years. I was responsible for the first ever light-up ad, and it played music, too!

The client was Highland Village, an upscale Houston shopping district. The ad insert appeared in the December 1990 issue of Houston Metropolitan. The creation was a tremendous effort supported and logistically made possible by Roger Tremblay, publisher of Houston Metropolitan, and Nancy Black, my production manager at the time.

Stephen P. Rogers

President, Black Rogers

Sullivan Goodnight

Houston

Just for accuracy's sake, Us magazine's Kelly Souter was very mistaken in claiming that on a monthly basis Us outsells Premiere, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly combined (Letters, AA, Nov. 21)-forgetting, I guess that Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone publish more than once a month. In fact, according to ABC, the three magazines outsold Us by 759,576 to 436,933 per month in the first half of 1994.

Also, none of the three missed rate base on 67% of their first-half issues (or even once, for that matter) as Us did.

Michael J. Klingensmith

Publisher, Entertainment Weekly

New York

Your Oct. 31 issue carried a letter from Bill Siegel, a copywriter for Hewlett-Packard Co. of Chelmsford, Mass., regarding the "marbles in the soup" incident (AA, Oct. 17).

It is difficult to understand why anyone would write such an ill-informed and ill-advised letter other than to get his name in print and perhaps be plucked out of Chelmsford.

I was one of two advertising managers on the [Campbell's] condensed soup business during the so-called marbles incident so I can comment from personal experience. For the record, Dick Mercer's article was quite civilized, even glossing over some of the in-fighting. Nevertheless, an accurate, factual and unbiased report.

Mr. Siegel, of course, knew none of this. He did, however, read the article and anointed himself the resident expert on the case. His smart-ass references to Dick Mercer's article and to Dick himself reflected inexcusable arrogance. I was associated on a business basis with Mr. Mercer for about 10 years. Other than that, we have maintained a long-distance friendship until this day. You may check with many of the great agencies in New York. Many will confirm my opinion that Dick Mercer was and is one of the kindest, most positive and enthusiastic members of the advertising community. His integrity has always been beyond question.

Dick is now retired but still active, still positive and enthusiastic and still an excellent, honest writer. This is a goal to which Mr. Siegel should aspire.

Paul N. Mulcahy

Ardmore, Pa.

Editor's note: Mr. Mulcahy recently retired as VP-marketing services of Campbell Soup Co.

Help! I'm drowning in non-First Class mail.

I'm a big customer of direct mail, but my name is spreading epidemically to mailing lists so that I am being swamped with mail, which no longer fits in my mailbox. Each day I pick up an armful.

Please tell me how I can have my name removed from the lists for products for which I have no use or interest. I'll appreciate your help in solving this problem.

Henry T.P. Weber

Pompano Beach, Fla.

Editor's note: Write to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735-9008.

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