LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Arch isn't deluxe

McDonald's attempts to offer a hamburger like the one that's been on Burger King's menu forever and was "the one" on which Dave Thomas founded Wendy's. But there's a difference. The Arch Deluxe doesn't match up with either.

And why make such a big deal out of what is essentially an inferior "me-too" product? There is a question regarding the quality of the product being "adult"-and there's no question the creative support is "immature." It's name is Arch but its advertising is flat-footed.

Chuck Grady

Director of marketing, O'Charley's

Nashville, Tenn.

I disagree with Harris Brandt's letter concerning the "inept" Fallon McElligott campaign for McDonald's new Arch Deluxe (AA, June 10).

Mr. Brandt is right when he implies that advertisers have to convey a cohesive message in a crowded market, and that we have a split second to capture the attention of the distracted viewer. But these ads do their job by creating an image of something new and not necessarily for the children. Maybe the allure of the new product is partly stimulated by the other media hype, but didn't the ads do their job by bringing a viewer's focus to answer the questions of "what" and "where"?

Mr. Brandt refers to Advertising 101, where basics of the message conveyance is taught. What I remember from my basic course was that if the customer favorably remembers your message, then it is successful.

What I also remember is that we must give the customer what we are advertising-and that is where the McDonald's campaign falls down. The message is okay, but the Arch Deluxe suffers from a total lack of anything that resembles food. I went to McDonald's (with my kids) with great anticipation for something new that I would find satisfying to my palate. Couldn't finish it-but the fries were good.

Dave Kimbell

Marketing manager, Merrill Co.

Spencer, Iowa

MRI's methodology

Stephen M. Blacker's letter (AA, June 10) contained several erroneous statements about Mediamark Research Inc.'s (MRI) methodology.

Adults in major markets are, in fact, oversampled rather than underrepresented, as Blacker wrote. Dakotans, in fact, are undersampled rather than oversampled, as Blacker indicated.

MRI does not select respondents "wherever they can get respondents," as Blacker wrote, but rather predesignates a national probability sample of adults and successfully interviews more than 70% of them.

Blacker wrote, "MRI's total sample consists of only about 8% professional/managerial women when this fast-growing segment now accounts

for more than 17% of the population." The U.S. Census (CPS-March 1995)

estimates that approximately 17% of women 18+ are professionals/managers.

MRI shows the same percentage for its sample of women. If one were to

consider professional/managerial women relative to a base of both men and

women this percentage drops to approximately 8.5%, and 8.6% of MRI's adult respondents are professional/managerial women.

MRI measures the readership of 232 magazines, not "over 260" as Blacker

wrote. MRI would very much appreciate seeing the empirical evidence upon

which Blacker based his pronouncement that "[n]o more than 150 magazine

logos should be part of the survey."

The magazine logo cards are not presented to respondents after they have

completed a one-hour interview as Blacker wrote, but instead are presented

about five minutes into the interview.

Blacker wrote that respondents become qualified as recent readers of a

magazine by telling us they have read an issue of the magazine during the

previous one year. Actually, recent readers are respondents who have read

an issue of a magazine in the most recent period of time equal to its

publication interval: the past seven days for a weekly, the past 30 days

for a monthly and so on. MRI measures no annually published magazines.

Mail surveys can indeed "get into every home," but returned, usable questionnaires correctly completed by the predesignated respondents cannot

come close to matching the response rate achieved by personal, in-home

interviews, and so the mail methodology Blacker suggested would be less representative of the adult population.

Julian Baim

Senior VP-research

Mediamark Research Inc.

New York

Martin Frankel

Professor of statistics, Baruch Colle

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