VIEWPOINT;LETTERS TO THE EDITOR;DISCUS HAS GUIDES;RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE;MISSING PARIS;A MATTER OF PRIORITIES

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Your June 24 editorial calling on the distilled spirits industry to begin a self-regulatory process missed a critical point. For decades, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and its members, through the voluntary Code of Good Practice, have had a strong, honored and recognized policy stressing responsible, dignified and tasteful advertising directed to adults who choose to drink.

The industry is emphatically opposed to any advertising or marketing practices that target impressionable underage persons. These guidelines already address the need for responsible advertising, regardless of the medium.

Fred A. Meister

President-CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.,

Washington

Steve Blacker commented on the many problems created by fluctuations in the demographic data as MRI information is released (Letters, AA, June 10).

The problems Steve points out are real, troubling, annoying and frequently embarras-sing. Unfortunately, solutions to them such as a request for larger sample sizes are probably impractical.

Steve addresses the problem specifically from a research point of view. As a publisher, my interest must be with the client and my response to the problem must be tempered by my client's need and desire to continue using syndicated research. In order to best represent our audience to advertising agencies and clients, we have recently taken the following steps:

1. Hired Barry Perrin as research director. Barry's experience at ad agencies, as research director of People magazine and other Time Inc. publications, and at Roper Starch give him the ability to help our sales staff assist ad agencies to understand and react to the fluctuations that do exist in syndicated research.

2. We are currently in the field with an MRI subscriber study which will give us a current, sub-stantial and quantifiable basis for questioning some of the MRI data.

3. We have begun subscribing to Monroe Mendelsohn. This research provides larger sample sizes of the upscale families, who are of great interest to our clients.

In Steve's letter, he talked about limiting the logo cards shown to research subjects. While that may be good for the research it is bad for the customer. The customer in this case is the ad agency needing aud-ience data for substantially more magazines than may be convenient for the purposes of the research. In a customer-driven sales organization, the customersneeds must be served.

Helping the customer better understand and use existing research tools on the one hand, while helping research companies attempt to find answers to some of their problems at the same time, seems to me to be the best route we can take.

James H. Fishman

VP-publisher, Audubon

New York

I follow Jim Brady's Ad Age columns, but it was his May 20 column ("Ah, to be reborn in Paris") that moved me to write.

Paris. My residence for a brief time, too. I live in the States again, but he's right, no one leaves Paris behind. Every trip to Europe, I think: my little cafe in the Marais! Every word of French I'm asked to translate, I think: how I miss Paris!

His closing paragraph made me teary-eyed, and now I'm wondering how I can work Paris into that upcoming trip to Madrid.

Thank you, Mr. Brady. Perhaps we can all move back someday.

Lori Liss

Terrace Park, Ohio

After reading Rance Crain's June 3 column [about Frank Compton of Sawyer Compton Riley], it seems to me that Mr. Compton has a conflict of interest. He informs his partners that he "wanted to change the agency and make ads that won awards the driving focus," and his head creative guy "tells clients what they should do."

Where on the client's priority list does winning awards for their agency fall? On my list it's nowhere near increasing sales and building brand awareness.

Michael Serino

Circulation director, Golfweek

Orlando, Fla.

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