LETTERS TO THE EDITOR;N-GEN ARTICLE ON TARGET; TOBACCO AD CODE IGNORED;DATSUN OTHER STORY;CORRECTIONS

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Don Tapscott's piece announcing "The rise of the Net-generation" (Forum, AA, Oct. 14) is, in a word, brilliant. The advice to marketers that they must embrace the concept of "choice" and "harness the interactivity of the Net" if they want to reach this cohort effectively is, on it's own, worth the price of a subscription to Ad Age.

In 1994 my company did a nationwide market research project with Roper Starch Worldwide. We found that a large majority of 18-to-22-year-olds would prefer to receive information and services in an "interactive environment."

We built a company on that research, and our own intuition (most of us are under 25) is that the rise of the N-Gen is as important a paradigm shift as the rise of the Net itself.

Bo Peabody

CEO, Tripod Inc.

Williamstown, Mass.

In the Oct. 7 issue Rance Crain criticized the American Association of Advertising Agencies for its decision not to pursue a voluntary code for tobacco advertising, concluding "it's crucial to establish, and adhere to, voluntary self-regulatory programs-so advertising doesn't find itself defending the indefensible." His simplistic solution fails to take into account the powerful influence of activist critics and political correctness. Were it not so, the tobacco industry's 30-plus-year-old voluntary code would not have been summarily ignored.

First adopted in 1964 and most recently updated in 1990, our industry code mandates that "cigarette advertising shall not appear in publications directed primarily to those under 21 years of age, including school, college or university media (such as athletic, theatrical or other programs), comic books or comic supplements; or on outdoor boards located within 500 feet of any elementary school, junior high school or high school or any children's playground."

Our code says that no payments will be made for product placement in movies produced for the general public, that people in our ads shall not appear to be under 25 years of age and that we will not use sports or celebrity testimonials or anyone who would have special appeal to people under the age of 21. Among its other details, the code restricts sampling to adult-based venues and promotional clothing items to adult sizes.

Reynolds Tobacco further applies a four-prong test to advertising placements: the median age of the publication's readers are over 21 years of age, as confirmed by documented research; other products advertised in the publication are directed at adults; the editorial content of the publication is directed at adults; and the publication considers itself to be directed at adult readers. . .

We have a voluntary code. We adhere to it. And, confirming a worldwide body of research, the Food & Drug Administration's own youth focus groups found no support for the notion that advertising plays a role in youth smoking. Clearly these steps address Mr. Crain's concern.

A look at the antismoking industry's longstanding position-which is supported by agencies in the federal government-provides insight into why this doesn't appear to be enough. Their "SMOKEFREE society by the year 2000" goals were made unequivocally clear more than a decade ago. High, if not No. 1, on their list: the elimination of all tobacco advertising.

They will settle for nothing less. And, it doesn't matter what the facts are.

Peggy C. Carter

Director, Legal, Regulatory & Science Affairs, External Relations

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Winston Salem, N.C.

Please tell me the commercials for Nissan-cars I guess, the ad doesn't really say-are written and produced (conceived would be too strong a description) by the client, and that no real ad agency would be responsible for such waste of money.

The one with the toy car, I think, is the most absurd. . . . Whatever happened to the Datsun? Was that brand kidnapped by that sinister figure in the commercials?

Jerry Luquire

Brentwood Publishers Group

Columbus, Ga.

In "Sports forum sizes up college ball" (Oct. 7, P. 52), College Football USA was established and is owned by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the American Football Coaches Association. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has had no involvement with College Football USA.

In "Jaguar launches new sports coupe" (Sept. 30, P. 16), Jaguar Cars North America's 1995 ad spending should have been attributed to Competitive Media Reporting.

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