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I was happy to hear -- by way of the Letter to the Editor from [R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s] Fran Creighton (AA, Aug. 24) responding to Bob Garfield's fine Camel ad review ("Cigarette ads revive the spirit of Joe Camel," AA, July 27) -- that youth was not envisioned as the target of [Camel's] new "Mighty Tasty" campaign.

That's good, because, though a large portion of Platform's 14-to-29-year-old "urban youth culture" audience smokes, they're light years ahead of Camel's creative approach.

They know cigarettes are evil, but they love 'em anyway. What they hate are ad campaigns that try needlessly to cute-ify or sex-ify the image of smoking; let alone campaigns that try to position cigarette advertising as a noble expression of freedom of speech (when clearly, after decades of lies by cigarette manufacturers, it's an embarrassingly venal form of freedom of speech) . . .

For reasons not addressed in any cigarette advertising I know, the smokers in my audience have decided to keep sucking in product no matter what. So it would be kind of stupid of Camel to spend a ton of money reaching them without fooling or charming anybody -- which is what most kids I know have learned that ads are supposed to do.

Stephen Greco

Editorial Director, Platform Network

New York

Editor's note: Platform Network is a Web community.

FHA's ad worked

I enjoy Bob Garfield's Ad Reviews and after reading "Highway ad assumes lead foot, empty head" (AA, July 6), on the Federal Highway Administration PSAs, I just couldn't resist a comment.

I was a paramedic for 12 years before I turned in my siren for the high-tech marketing and communications world. The FHA PSAs are right. You can't imagine how many people hurt themselves and others in construction zones. Unlike a recent ad campaign I did for Epoch Internet using auto safety satire ("DSL -- Death to dial-up;" "Don't be road kill on the Information Highway"), sometimes you just have to get people's attention and scream.

The ad worked, didn't it? The FHA got Bob to remember the ad enough to write about it. Now maybe the next ad executive who goes through a work zone will remember.

Edward A. Stern

Director of Corporate Relations

Epoch Internet

Irvine, Calif.

Crain on target

In his column "In an age when brand is king, marketers are paring brand names" (Viewpoint, AA, July 6), Rance Crain is right on the mark about how confusing this can be to the customer.

There are some other problems, such as the loss of "corporate memory" when the name of a company or brand is changed. At a time when everyone is touting loyalty and relationship marketing, it does seem odd that historic names of companies and brands that evoke feelings in the consumer of confidence go the way of all flesh . . .

Granted, different nationalities have different cultures, which makes marketing a brand more difficult in a global marketplace. The solution seems to me to keep the name and vary the advertising, drawing on the different cultures. And why not consider some brands local and others global? Does every brand have to find a spot on a shelf somewhere and everywhere? Maybe some can't make it globally. Does that warrant the "pruning" and name changes?

Phyllis Barr


Barr Consulting Services

New York

Beyond Advertising III

In "Beyond Advertising" (AA, Aug. 3), the subheadline with the story states: "Strategic shift: Large ad agencies adopting the total communications solution; at long last, some execs say."

At long last indeed. The late Marion Harper was 40 years ahead of his time when he headed McCann-Erickson and Interpublic in the 1950s.

Total integrated communications was the watchword under Harper. To implement the concept, he set up three wholly owned, integrated subsidiaries specializing in market planning and research, sales promotion and public relations.

Marion Harper's innovative, pioneering concepts are the reason many observers feel he should long since have been inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Edwin H. Sonnecken


Marketing Planning Corp.

Akron, Ohio


In "Chancellor deal to buy Capstar worries ad execs" (AA, Aug. 31. P. 4), John Kamp is senior VP, American Association of Advertising Agencies.

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