Gillette Co. is worthy of considerable praise for pioneering the movement to gender-specific shaving products and accessories ("Gillette bets $80 mil on women," AA, May 4). The Sensor for Women validated the economic potential of products designed specifically for women.
The phenomenal success of this product has both encouraged other gender-specific products, such as S.C. Johnson & Son's Skintimate Shaving Gel and Warner-Lambert Co.'s Schick Silk Effects razor, and motivated Gillette to increase its ad budget 58% to $41 million dollars . . .
The slogan for the men's product line infers integrity, quality and above all entitlement: "Gillette: The best a man can get."
Conversely, the women's line is relegated to yet another unfortunate reminder of the eclipsing focus on our pulchritude: "Gillette for women: Are you ready?"
Ad copy for this campaign includes: "It's 80 degrees in the shade. You've got the raft, the towel and your teeny-weeny bikini. But are you ready?"; "You've got the shoes, the dress and the perfect lipstick. But without soft, smooth legs, are you ready?"; "Are you ready to feel soft, feel smooth, feel beautiful?"
Ready for what? Ready to endure another catchy jingle reminding us our achievements continue to take a backseat to our sex appeal. While men are deserving of "the best a man can get," we are expected to be "ready" for the reality that in order to win or succeed we must not only excel but also be a babe.
The product line is highly commendable, but Gillette -- is this the "best we can get"? We are ready. Ready to demand respect and command a better slogan.
Heather E. McGowan
Product design consultant
Regarding " `Golf' and `Golf Digest' vie to lead hot category" (AA, June 1), the 1997 circulation rate base for Links Magazine, The Best of Golf was 270,000. Our rate base for 1998 is 290,000, representing an increase of 16% over four years.
I find it interesting that you list the 1998 circulation rate base and frequency for Golf & Travel and Golfweek, while all other titles have 1997 figures. I can only assume that you obtained your circulation figures directly from Turnstile Publishing Co.
[McCann-Erickson Worldwide VP-Assistant Media Director Scott] Steiner's comment that smaller titles cannot offer value "beyond what is available between their covers" is nonsense. Links Magazine offers the added value of commercial times on our TV show (airing on the Fox Sports Net), advertising on GolfWeb (the most frequently used golf Internet site) and ad space in our newsletter sent to the golfer retail market.
In every industry, the smaller company must provide a superior product and service to compete. Let's tell the story the way it is.
Circulation director, Links Magazine
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mind the details
I think the message the folks at Parental Guide are trying to get across with their "V-Chip" ad would have benefited from their copywriter doing a little less TV watching and a little more copy-checking. Maybe the writer thinks such things as paying attention to details doesn't effect the finished product? Sheesh!
Rory J. Thompson
Assistant features editor
* In "Nielsen sweeps diaries fall short of May target" (June 15, P. 2), Nielsen Media Research VP-Communications Jack Loftus is quoted as saying that in the past three years the company has achieved cooperation rates above target in all reporting cycles except this past May. Mr. Loftus said he misspoke, and that Nielsen was only above target the past two years.
* In "P&G's Lafley seen on path to top job" (June 15, P. 14), Wolfgang C. Berndt will head P&G's Europe, Middle East and Africa operation. R. Kerry Clark will head P&G's Asian business.
* In "Computer City shows store, brand renovation" (June 1, P. 10), Montgomery Ward & Co. eliminated its computer business and closed 11 Electric Avenue & More outlets in 1997, but kept its Electric Avenue in-store departments.