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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR;PRICING MAGAZINES;MAKING MATTERS WORSE;COMPUTERS NO PROBLEM;BAD HANDS;CORRECTION

Published on .

Wow. I never thought I'd see an editorial in an advertising magazine encouraging magazine publishers to start charging realistic subscription prices to readers ("Mag prices must get real," AA, Aug. 19).

I entirely agree with your opinion. I'd always thought it was the advertising community that had encouraged magazine publishers to "give away" titles in order to "increase" readership to enhance advertising rate bases.

In Europe (where I'm originally from) a publisher's bottom line income is pretty evenly split between the reader and advertisers. Cover prices are higher and there is little or no subscription price discounting. Instead, every sale attracts genuine readers who are ultimately more valuable to advertisers and publishers.

How are we going to change the publishing business model in the U.S.-banish Publisher's Clearing House? Abolish second class mail? Abandon sale or return at the newsstand? It's a tough decision!

John Rettie

Editorial director

J. D. Power & Associates

In reporting that I misheard "What a hassle!" (in the Visa/Checkcard/Deion Sanders commercial) as "what an ---hole!" Bradley Johnson omitted to relate how the voiceover confrontational tone inclined the ear to such a misinterpretation (Adages, AA, Aug. 12). What one sees may, contrary to the communicator's intention, reinforce what one (mis)hears.

The glitch was one thing. The response of the parties I contacted was quite another. Only after other viewers complained did I sense condescension evolving into (feigned) cooperation. Early in the Olympic Games' second week I was assured that the offending commercial would not air again. Six days after my first complaint-indeed, the very day after I was repeatedly told that the cancellation was a certainty-the ad was broadcast during both days of the Games' final weekend.

BBDO, the man in the middle, apologized-apology accepted. Visa, however, told me the commercial was canceled while telling NBC to "roll 'em." Only later did Visa try to soften the blow by stating, falsely, that this national spot ran only in New York.

Need I say that I will not be using the Visa checkcard?

Paul Morrissey

Director

Morality Action Committee

Jackson Heights, N.Y.

After reading Rance Crain's column, "Helping women embrace computers" (AA, July 8), I am disturbed.

Rance, it is a fact that men comprise the majority of computer programmers, engineers and managers. Yet you rationalize a solution that is not a solution. You state, "Girls need high-tech role models, so why wouldn't it make sense for one of the female cast members of `Friends' to land a job as a computer techie," as if this is the solution.

To insinuate that women require "beauty role models" to generate interest in technology and computers is ludicrous. The male/female ratio for those in high technology positions exists because of reasons that go way beyond a television show. If you do not realize this, then you are a primary contributor to the problem.

At this point I ask you, how often do you work on a computer? Better yet, have you ever worked with any programming languages?

As a woman, I do both and retain a high interest in this area. I grew up in a "scientific household," familiar with technology at an early age and its importance for my future. Perhaps I am a lucky one?

I resent your position and rationale for creating interest in computers for young women. You state, "American women aren't the only ones that have problems with computers." I don't see a problem with American women and computers. What I see is unenlightened opinions with no logical rationale to back them up.

Jennifer Turner

jet@atlcom.net

Is it just me or is there something terribly wrong with the latest barrage of Allstate ads?

Granted they're drenched with sentiment and gut-wrenching camera angles, which must have cost the good people a ton of loot. But who on earth sold them that dreadful tagline?

"Being in good hands is the only place to be." Pfffft. If I were to stand up at a meeting and say, "Sitting in this meeting is the only place to sit," they'd first toss me a grammar book, then fire my substandard can.

Barnaby Pedge

Grand Rapids, Mich.

In "Beatles hit home video with bang" (Aug. 19, P. 8), DDB Needham Worldwide, Los Angeles, is buying the media time for Capitol Records' campaign for the video release of "The Beatles Anthology."

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