I take exception to Bob Garfield's high praise for the Mercedes-Benz ad that uses the song "Falling in Love Again" made famous by Marlene Dietrich (" Lowe locates key to Mercedes' appeal," AA, Feb. 24) . . .
The song is too Germanic for those with a sense of history. It conjures uncomfortable mental images of the two world wars, and of the time between when economic hard times in Germany were a foretaste of The Great Depression here.
Those without a historical perspective are not likely to identify the song at all, and thus not "connect" with that spot enough to move them to the showroom. This segment of the audience is more likely to connect with the other spots in an otherwise solid campaign.
Owner, Direct Marketing Freelance
However Kent Brownridge's letter (AA, Feb. 24) ended up in the Advertising Age mailbag instead of our own, it contains a few points that need addressing.
We have no objections to magazines being profitable (that would be hypocrisy), nor-believe it or not-to people who return phone calls. Up to a point, we can even live with magazine CEOs who cut articles that may personally embarrass them, as Pecker famously did with Premiere's Stallone piece. But likening David Pecker's giddy forays into magazine editing to the "buck stops here" philosophy of Harry Truman would only begin to make sense if Truman had taken it upon himself to, say, administrate the Roman Catholic Church or coach the national water-polo team.
Spy is far more concerned with aesthetics than with morals, and we simply find David Pecker distasteful. There is nothing wrong with being trained as an accountant, but if you think it makes you a swashbuckling editorial genius, then you're an asshole.
To set the record straight then, the asshole-diaspora, according to Spy, breaks down as follows: David Pecker, yes; Ron Galotti, yes; Herman Melville, no; Harry Truman, no (the atomic flair of "A-hole" might suit him better); T.S. Eliot, yes, of course. Kent Brownridge, no way-he's just wrong.
Thanks, by the way, for the tacit support on the Ron Galotti question.
After reading your lengthy articles on diversity in advertising (AA, Feb. 17), I was terribly disappointed that you neglected to mention the Inroads internship program. This 27-year-old program [based in St. Louis] has 41 chapters throughout the country.
Inroads is a unique program that identifies excellent minority students during their senior year in high school. In order to become part of this program the students must have an excellent academic record and be committed to a four-year college program.
Inroads extensively interviews students and matches them to member company needs. Companies are given a choice of several excellent candidates. Students join the same company for four consecutive summers and participate in programs specifically designed for their growth. On summer Saturdays, interns must attend seminars which teach various business skills (i.e., interviewing techniques, how to dress for business, how to read a menu, etc.) Students must also maintain a 3.2 academic average in order to remain in the program.
BBDO; BDDP Wells Rich Greene; J. Walter Thompson Co.; Rapp Collins; Merkley, Newman Harty; Doig Elliot Shur; and Goodby Silverstein are among the 20 agencies that are currently participating in the program.
The response has been overwhelming. Many of the students are also spending their holiday vacation time at their sponsoring agencies. JWT has made a permanent hire of last summer's intern, and John Wren, CEO of Omnicom, has joined the board of directors of Inroads.
I'm thrilled with the student progress and the agency enthusiasm for Inroads. This year's program will include interns in creative, account planning, media and account management.
Bonnie Lunt Management
Ms. Lunt is a member of the diversity council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
USP is the core idea
It is refreshing to see that the USP has not been forgotten ("USP's benefit still stands tall in noisy 1990s," AA, March 3). It is the core and foundation of all successful advertising.
Leonard J. Zimmerman
Zimmerman Business Consulting
In "Alternative remedies enter the mainstream" (Feb. 24, P. 18), Sunsource International's ad spending totaled about $12 million in 1996. Also, Sunsource launched perhaps the first national echinacea brand, Echinex, last September.