LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: THE VALUE OF ADS; SPEECH CURBS NO ANSWER; THE BURNETT MEMO; WHAT A CONCEPT!

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THE VALUE OF ADS

Can former Snapple ad spokeswoman Wendy Kaufman recreate the brand's quirky popularity?

Rance Crain's column in the April 21 issue of Advertising Age ("Haven't we learned anything about ads' value in last 100 years?") hits the "target," as usual.

Some things seem to never change. When Bill Mar-steller and I went to our first American Association of Advertising Agencies convention in 1952, the speak- ers and the attendees were talking about the same subjects in your column. In other words, 45 years later we still have agency-client issues. We still are unsure about the values of advertising. We are still unsure how to measure results.

And this situation persists even though the Advertising Research Foundation, the Association of Na-tional Advertisers, the American Marketing Association and the Four A's have invested thousands of dollars in research on these issues.

It is true, however, that clients are dumping agencies much more quickly than in the '50s and '60s. I hope you will keep reminding the industry that "there still aren't enough true believers."

Richard C. Christian

Associate Dean

Medill School of Journalism

Northwestern University

Evanston, Ill.

Mr. Christian is the former chairman of the now-defunct Chicago-based Marsteller Inc. advertising agency.

Speech curbs no answer

In response to a query Rance Crain posed in his May 5 column ("Ad

industry lacks `wiggle room' in solving cigarette connection"), I must ask: When is he going to realize that, when it comes to reducing consumption of a legal product, restricting commercial speech is not the answer?

First, years of research, not to mention the experiences of Canada and France with advertising bans, have failed to demonstrate a connection between advertising and consumption. Second, and more importantly, commercial speech restrictions are illegitimate in the eyes of the Constitution if it cannot be proven that they can achieve the government's goal.

Thanks to a few activist judges, advertisers, unfortunately, were not given the opportunity to argue this in the Baltimore ad ban cases; such will likely not be the case in future challenges in other courts.

I also find curious his argument that fighting tobacco ad restrictions puts other product ads at risk. Isn't it more likely that unopposed, successful efforts to restrict ads for "unpopular" products will only embolden government and private new prohibitionists to move against ads for other legal products?

Without principled opposition to current attempts to reduce advertising rights for so-called "sin" products, government and the public will become addicted to commercial speech restrictions.

Glenn G. Lammi

Chief counsel, Legal Studies Div.

Washington Legal Foundation

Washington

The Burnett memo

David McQuaid misses the point in his letter "Why blast Burnett?" (AA,

May 5) defending Leo Burnett USA's memo advising [media buyers for McDonald's] to avoid programs with gay characters or content .*.*.

Even if such an opinion had been requested by the client, the issue just isn't that simple. Burnett's memo suggested a strategy that effectively reinforces the stigma and bigotries that exist in our society.

In advancing such a view, advertising agencies can no longer hide behind their responsibility to clients anymore than a bigoted homeowner can hide behind concerns about "falling property values" as an excuse to keep minorities out of his neighborhood.

The very fact that an adult woman's realization that she is gay is compared by Mr. McQuaid to TV scenes depicting "a murder" (violent criminal activity) or "an emergency tracheotomy" (a visually repugnant procedure) is an indication that advertising agencies have a long way to go.

Matt Jacob

Washington

What a concept!

Headlines from the May 12 Advertising Age: "United's new TV ads side

with travelers"; "My McDonald's' shifts focus to consumers." Wow! Advertising that targets its message to its customers. What a concept!

Louis B. Raffel

President, American Egg Board

Park Ridge, Ill.

Corrections

In " JWT installs younger team to lead San Francisco shop" (May 5, P. 66), the identifications accompanying photos of David Riemer and John Geoghegan were transposed.

In "Value-brand Drypers readies biggest ad push" (April 28, P. 8), Moffat Rosenthal, Portland, Ore., handles the print campaign breaking in July magazines for the diaper brand.

In "Promos, not ad dollars, will help hot dogs sizzle" (April 28, P. 4), the 15.2% cited as Sara Lee Corp.'s corporate share is actually the share for its Hygrade brand; corporate share of the hot dog market is 25%, according to Sara Lee.

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