I write this letter the morning after what had to be the biggest moment in my professional life: Last night I won the Kelly Award for Creative Excellence in Magazine Advertising ("Burnett dominates Kellys with Altoids magazine ads," AA, April 27).
The competition was ungodly fierce. People like David Lubars, John Doyle, Lee Clow. Agencies like Goodby Silverstein, Rubin Postaer, Fallon McElligott, brands like Sony, Apple, Porsche . . . you get the idea.
In addition, my father (Larry Postaer) and brother (Jeremy Postaer) were both present as part of this awesome competition.
Normally, I'd have put myself on an IV of Black Label and soda, but since I was also a Judge-Presenter I had a job to do.
Net-net: I have never been more anxious, ever. When I was a kid, the neighborhood bully once threw a tom cat into a dumpster with a brick of fire crackers. I have always felt sympathy for that poor animal. Now I could empathize with him as well. For me, it was that intense.
I like to think I'm a pretty good public speaker, but I may have botched this one. I was just too rattled to say anything resembling clever. Or, unfortunately, appropriate. I would like to make amends.
I should have thanked the people at Altoids: Liz, Mark, Chris and David. The old guard and the new. I should have thanked Kraft for maybe looking the other way when we were having so much fun. And I probably should have mentioned my employer, Leo Burnett. It is, was, and always will be the only game in town.
I damn well should have acknowledged the other judges and competitors; any of them could have won and many already have. And, obviously, the Magazine Publishers of America. They were a tireless bunch, gracious, fun and utterly competent. And it would have been nice to give a nod to Theodore Bell. Next to my father, he was all the help I ever needed. And how about a toast to Dewar's? How many times has it been a finalist? Good friends of mine created that campaign. Other good friends maintain it now. Here's to healthy competition right down the hall.
At least I remembered to salute my partner, Mark Faulkner. I cannot stress enough how responsible he is for this great body of work. He, along with his friend, photographer Tony D'orio, flat-out made this campaign look like something. And our two lieutenants, Noel and Kit. These guys I thanked, thank God.
And what do you know, I didn't forget the account guy: "Pit Bull" Pat Willis. Because it ain't always easy. And, of course, I blew a kiss to my wife, who puts up with my fetish for "The Simpsons" and countless other bizarre, troubling quirks.
Finally, I now realize I should have been more graceful in accepting this prestigious award. My apologies to anyone slighted by my performance. I was blown away and beyond composure.
P.S.: Thanks, Mom!
Leo Burnett USA
Behind the crime drop
In Rance Crain's "Crime rate is all demographics: What went up must come down" (Viewpoint, AA, April 6), he has only half of the story. While it is true the crime rate is dropping partly due to a population decrease, it is also dropping due to the number of criminals serving time in our nation's correctional facilities.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently released figures that show we are currently holding approximately 1.7 millon people in our nation's prisons. That number is up from roughly 745,000 in 1985.
With 1 million fewer criminals on the street, it is no wonder why the crime rate is dropping. This reduction, of course, has a price -- about $29 billion in 1997 alone.
Corrections Technology & Management Magazine
Ad overlooks women
I couldn't help but notice the spread ad for the new ESPN Magazine in your March 16 edition. Wow! One hundred and two photos of athletes and only one woman. I would think, considering the poor reputations and criminal activities of so many of today's U.S. male athletes, the promo for the magazine would have highlighted a few more women. How about comparing the men's and women's U.S. Olympics hockey teams and their on-ice and off-ice activities?
Assistant to the President
The Bakersfield Californian
In "Bank mergers to mean increased ad spending" (April 20, P. 6), the corporate name for the company created by the BankAmerica Corp.-NationsBank Corp. merger will be BankAmerica. But no decision has yet been made about names for the operating banks.