LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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CIRC UP AT `YOUR MONEY'

Here at Your Money, we read with interest the March 2 article about Conde Nast's new title, Currency ("Conde Nast tests waters in crowded finance category," AA, March 2), a test entry into our category, personal finance.

We were particularly intrigued to read that the "top" magazines in our category experienced circulation declines in the second half of 1997.

We're unsure of how Advertising Age defines "top," but assuming circulation counts for something, take a look at Your Money. Our total audited circulation for the period was 568,293, which makes us at least larger than Worth, one of the magazines you cite.

More significantly, in what was indeed a year of declining circulation for all other broadly focused personal finance titles, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported that Your Money gained 10.1% in the second half of 1997, and 16.6% in the first half.

Dennis Fertig

Editor in chief, Your Money

Skokie, Ill.

More about Martha

James Brady's column on Martha Gellhorn ("Role model deserving her own postage stamp? Try other Martha," Viewpoint, AA, March 2) brought back a lot of memories regarding Martha.

[Ms. Gelhorn, an American writer and one of the first women war correspondents, and a former wife of Ernest Hemingway, died in England last month.]

I first knew her during World War II in Italy (I was doing air operational handouts to the press; Martha represented Colliers), and later in the 1990s, when we met again.

Regarding Martha's D-Day landing, one of the interesting aspects is that the official correspondent (he didn't have to sneak over; she did) was Hemingway, whose ship was disabled by a mine, resulting in Martha landing before Ernest! (No one was injured, but the Hemingway landing craft was delayed.)

When I asked Martha why she had not allowed the author of her biography, "Nothing Ever Happens to the Brave," to interview her, she said: "I didn't want to be interviewed by a (expletive) professor."

George Gruenwald

Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.

Editor's note: Mr. Gruenwald was CEO and chief creative officer at Campbell-Mithun, Minneapolis, now Campbell-Mithun-Esty. Since 1984, he has been a consultant and writer on new products and corporate growth.

Guilt or gilt

Frank Reysen, editor of Playthings, asked, relative to "Teletubbies" being broadcast on PBS: "What's the opposite of `guilt by association'? Whatever you call that, that's what PBS will give Teletubbies."

The opposite, when it connotes goodness, or as in the case of marketing, when it provides leverage, is gilt by association.

Thomas Amshay

RFTS

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Micro-Radio did it

We agree the outdoor board Virgin Records and Eller Media Co. created for Janet Jackson's new album on Hollywood's Sunset Strip is fascinating ("Found Art," AA, Jan. 5). As provider of the Micro-Radio station for that ad, we want to clarify your mention about the board. It should read: "For motorists within a mile of the board, (low-power) Micro-Radio provides a sampling of the album on their AM radios." We enjoy your magazine here at Business Broadcast Systems, home of Micro-Radio.

Andrew Milder

Los Angeles

Same difference

My favorite trend in toothless advertising is the rash of campaigns that bank on the word "different" to work miracles . . .

I agree that certain brands competing in certain markets can be well served by selling personality in hopes of sowing relationships. It all depends on the specifics of the case.

But does "different" do it? Picasso was different. So was Jeffrey Dahmer. Different is neither a strategy nor a meaningful execution. And it's not even different.

Bob Hogan

President

R.W. Hogan Associates

Stamford, Conn.

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