The Olympics belong to the people of the world. Public money is being spent to make the event possible in order to create jobs, attract tourist dollars and to build facilities and infrastructure that the public can use afterward.
I agree on protection of the exclusive claims of those advertisers willing to pay to be the "Official Hemorrhoid Treatment of the 19XX Olympics" out of a naive perception that the public considers it a "by appointment to ....." Royal Warrant or a quality guarantee instead of the simple paid endorsement that it is. However, the enormous news media coverage of the world games before and during the weeks of competition generates worldwide sports enthusiasm that belongs to any enterprising company seeking a creative hook for advertising and promotion themes.
The notion that any attempt by advertisers other than those who have paid the promoters a fee for the right to use Olympic images and themes is cause for defensive litigation is sheer hubris and totally repugnant. One would hope that the courts will agree that the world games are a public news event and that any enterprising company can latch on to its coattails.
Chairman, Viking Group
I think we've heard enough whining about the tariff on Japanese luxury cars.
Besides a few liberal journalists, the loudest hue and cry comes from the dealerships and salespeople directly involved with these cars. These are the people who will be taking a direct hit in their commission checks when the cars become as expensive in the U.S. as our high-end products would be in Japan-if they were allowed to be imported there. Frankly, these people represent a minuscule percentage of the U.S. workforce and, additionally, they can surely find some other unnecessary high-ticket luxury items to sell to those "lazy, incompetent Americans" with a penchant for conspicuous consumption.
These cars constitute a small percentage of the entire vehicle population. If they were eliminated tomorrow there would be no appreciable ripple in the U.S. economy. And for those who insist on the panache of an import, there are ready replacements for these products in the original European luxury cars that the Japanese cars were designed to emulate.
If some consumers are truly having withdrawal pains or feel they must contribute to the Japanese economy, they can buy a Corolla and send a personal check for the difference between it and its highbrow Lexus brethren directly to Japanese Prime Minister Murayama. Unfortunately, there are very few American products available in Japan for him to buy with it.
Sales and marketing manager
Automotive Equipment Group
Bob Garfield's review of the newest Amstel Light advertising (AA, May 15) contained high praise for the executions yet criticism for the strategic direction. He likened the campaign to a car "driving in the wrong direction but making very good time."
To massacre Bob's analogy .....Beware of well-meaning helicopter pilots who, from up high and far away, observe a car and pass judgment on its apparent route. The danger is that even the most intelligent pilot may feel he has the clearest vision, but unless he knows what's in the driver's head, he cannot presume to know that the car is indeed on the wrong road.
In many ways, I admire Bob's approach to reviewing ads: He makes it a point to critique the work without hearing about the consumer research, strategy, objectives, etc., so that he can remain as impartial and unbiased as possible. That's good. What is maybe not so good is that when he steps into the land of judging strategy without the benefit of understanding what is in the hearts and minds of consumers, he may take a misstep.
After sitting behind a one-way mirror listening to consumers for days and days through strategic development and advertising development, I know that the driver, the car and the choice of highways is dead on. In fact, I'm even confident the driver will not only reach the desired destination, but also have a well-earned vacation after the trip is completed.
Warwick Baker & Fiore
Robert Boatman must be the original "bah, humbug" guy. His letter in your June 5 issue criticizing James Brady's piece on the Oklahoma City bombing was totally bereft of compassion.
Boatman's characterization of Brady's "irrelevant ego" is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Unlike Boatman, James Brady writes with the human touch.
As one who "rode out" the Oklahoma City bomb blast from about two blocks away, I appreciate Jim Brady's article, even though the last few lines of the song "Oklahoma!" were incorrect.
Director of corporate communications, Kerr-Mcgee Corp.
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.