MARTIN AGENCY THE BEST;REGS WOULD PROTECT KIDS;EASY-ACCESS INFORMATION;WHY AUDIT INTERNET?;YELLOW PAGES HELPS STUDENTS;DE-HYPING WINDOWS 95;SOMEBODY FINALLY LISTENED;ASKING FOR A SPANKING?;ALTERNATIVE WEAR; GOOD IN THEORY, BUT....;

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The coverage of the Martin Agency's 30th anniversary was gratifying. I was privileged to lead the agency during the 1982-92 growth years, and the ride was frenetic and exhilarating.

Importantly, the agency clings to tenets crafted during that time-focus on great ideas; avoid fads and gimmickry; execute seamlessly across disciplines; and create an atmosphere that encourages exceptional people to do very smart work.

Minor discrepancies aside-I was named CEO in 1986 and Harry Jacobs in 1992 upon my resignation-the story was accurate and revealing. From "advertising nowheresville," we proved that great ideas, coupled with a determination to "change the playing field," made clients the winners.

The missing storyline is the contribution of the real heroes.

Brilliant creative people like John Mahoney, Luke Sullivan, Hal Tench, Cabell Harris, Danny Boone, Carolyn Tye-McGeorge, Daniel Russ and the late Barbara Ford, savvy marketers like Steve Isaac, John Boatright, Earl Cox, Alan Newman and Diane Barr and operating chief Ralph Thompson-all carried us on their able shoulders.

Congratulations to my friends at Martin.

I am humbled to have had the opportunity to be a part of the best agency in America.

Don Just

Just & Associates

Manteo, N.C.

Advertising Age reader D.R. Bell expressed her opinion about "unneeded smoking ad regulations" (AA, Sept. 11).

Ms. Bell says the regulations that the government is proposing are a violation of the First Amendment. She says she is intelligent and she makes her own decisions.

The fact is that it is not about the First Amendment, but about protecting the health and welfare of children.

Does Ms. Bell know that every day, of the 3,000 children who become regular smokers, almost one-third of them will die from diseases related to smoking?

Cigarette smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Any person who becomes a regular smoker is virtually playing Russian roulette supreme, with two bullets in the six compartments of a six-shooter.

Mitchell Firger

Director, Smokenders

Norwalk, Conn.

I enjoyed Bradley Johnson's opening piece in the planned series on the convergence of marketing and information technology (AA, Oct. 2). From my vantage point in corporate marketing at a large information systems software company, information technology is a subject sorely overdue in Ad Age.

I have just one quibble, and that's with IRI's George Garrick. Mr. Garrick urges creation of a "separate information department to keep out politics and....distribute information services." To anyone working in information technology, that sounds like a classic formula for a return to the rigid and ultimately doomed segregation of information and users that characterized the first era of computers in the workplace.

Those days are essentially over. Success today and in the future will require managing information in such a way that it remains easy to access, manipulate and distribute-by and among the people who need it most: the business units themselves.

Brian Hickey

Information Builders

New York

Audience research and circulation audits can almost quiet the fears of marketers who are never sure what really happens when they spend all that money on advertising.

Shopkeepers, however, have never needed to count the traffic or audit the sidewalk to determine whether their window display was working; the cash register told them. Unerringly.

Your editorial of Oct. 16 notes: "Web site owners have no way of knowing who they're reaching." If a marketer is using the Internet, a medium which begs for and even demands a response, and wants a survey or audit, it's because of who is not being reached, namely customers.

Why pay money to count that?

Alan J. Gottesman

Managing director

West End Communications/Consulting, New York

I am writing in response to a Sept. 11 letter entitled, "Why not help ad education?" by Howard Willens. Mr. Willens described his unsuccessful attempt to obtain support materials from media trade associations in preparation for teaching an advertising and marketing course at New York University.

If Mr. Willens had contacted the Yellow Pages Publishers Association, he would have received free Yellow Pages educational materials made available to educators since 1986.

Twice a year, YPPA mails a brochure to over 6,000 advertising, marketing and communications educators offering unlimited, free Yellow Pages student booklets, videotapes, lesson plans and guest speakers.

Since the inception of the program, over 100,000 student booklets have been distributed and our videotapes have been viewed by almost 300,000 students.

Last year, over 100 classroom presentations were given by Yellow Pages guest speakers.

The Yellow Pages industry knows that today's advertising students are tomorrow's media decision makers.

Carel Carr

Educational programs

manager,

Yellow Pages

Publishers Association

Troy, Mich.

I enjoyed, and agreed with, your Sept. 18 Advertising Age International "Talk of the Globe" article on Windows 95.

Now, after the easily impressionistic, computer tyros and be-the-first-on-the-block types have been satiated, perhaps it is time to take a clearer look at what all the sales hype was about. In fact:

1. Windows 95 was a long overdue, much needed upgrade for its deficient predecessor program.

2. Bill Gates' latest "shamelessly, brazenly imitates IBM's OS/2 software," says Miami Herald Associate Editor Tony Proscio. It still hasn't matched Apple's Macintosh offerings that have been the top quality standard since l988.

3. Windows 95 trumpets it can now accommodate "long subject headings." Macintosh has done that since 1988. "You can now `Trash' material and we have `Icons' to symbolize functions and subjects and you can `Multi-Task,"' are the breathless pronouncements from Gates. All these and more have been standard with Macintosh since 1988.

4. "Fallout from the hype: Windows 95 backlash" is the headline of MacWeek's Sept. 11 issue. Of course they have a bias. But comments like the following in the New York Post are typical: "Support lines were flooded with calls from customers having problems with Windows 95. The software giant blamed viruses already on the computers for the problems...."

Well, yes. But experts like Connecticut's David Nelson, who use both Mac and Win 95, report: "....11 years after the Mac became the program leader, Win 95 has over 100 documented bugs, but the word is that [Gates] had to get it out anyway. And the ancient DOS still is the base and lurks underneath Win 95...."

5. Still, "Apple has every reason to be worried, for Win 95 has appropriated many of Macintosh's coolest ideas. Win 95 is Mac-like," says Advertising Age's Bradley Johnson. "Win 95 is the computer product that non-computer-users talk about. It's what Doonesbury parodies."

My first PC was an IBM in the early l980s. I believe it is still doing service as a backup at Ocean Reef's Racquet Club at Key Largo, Fla....I've had two Macintosh SEs since, and am using one to word process this with its Microsoft Word 3.01 program. Can Windows 96 be far behind?

Sorry, Bill Gates, let me know when you catch up with something additive to Macintosh that I really need.

John W. Hartman

Ocean Reef, Fla.

Advertisers regularly employ saturation television campaigns and compare the overall effectiveness against minuscule magazine schedules. You know-six pages a year in some monthlies, and maybe 13 pages a year in weeklies-with dollars weighted about 10 to 1 in favor of TV.

In bygone years I used to suggest multiple pages for a single product-perhaps three or four pages in a single issue in a group of magazines. A chance to break through indifference and plant a selling idea in the prospect's head. As I recall, this concept met with little enthusiasm.

Yikes! The Oct. 16 issue of People contained 17-yes 17-separate 4-color pages for one product-the National Fluid Milk Board.

Will wonders never cease?

Ed Stern

Evanston, Ill.

Mr. Stern formerly headed the media department at Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago.

Benetton ads, especially the one depicting Jesus being crucified by Roman soldiers, remind me of little kids using dirty words they have heard to shock their parents. They want to see how far they can go before getting their mouths washed out with soap.

Stewart M. Lee

Geneva College

Beaver Falls, Pa.

In the wake of the brouhaha over the Docker's pants inside plastic shields on posters, why doesn't someone replace the "stealable" trousers with sheets of condom packages?

Copy for the panel might then be: Help Yourself!

Copy for the area behind the purloined condoms might then be: Have a Good Day!

Melvin N. Poretz

Editor and publisher

The Fulfillment Fact-ery

Merrick, N.Y.

Murray Hillman's Forum article ("Changing the way we handle change," AA, Sept. 18), reminds me of other intellectual exercises that can't work with live human beings.

I commend Mr. Hillman's attempt to solve the complex problem, but not his result. Today's "strategic thinking" doesn't bear fruit until well into the future.

Many of the "best" companies cited in "In Search of Excellence" are basket cases today. The real solution, cited by T. Boone Pickens and many others, is to make CEOs owners whose net worth is imminently tied to the company.

Mr. Hillman's suggestion that price increases are "easy" needs to be examined in the light of reality.

Rubbermaid's current channel and profit problems are in large part the result of an "easy" price increase.

Further, his self-serving suggestion that research can "accurately" measure much of what's needed is not supported by the results of industry's use of research.

Mitchell Gooze

Partner, OMT Group

Santa Clara, Calif.

Advertising Age welcomes letters to the editor, but we ask that they be held to no more than 250 words in length. The editors reserve the right to edit letters. Address letters to Advertising Age, Viewpoint Editor, 740 Rush St., Chicago 60611. Fax: (312) 649-5331. Letters can also be posted through the Ad Age Bulletin Board on Prodigy, or by Prodigy E-Mail at EHBU73A@prodigy.com.

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