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VIEWPOINT;LETTERS TO THE EDITOR;WHY IAB GOES SLOW;SHUN TOBACCO MONEY;GORDON'S NO. 1 GIN;THINK SMALL

Published on .

Thank you for recognizing the formation of the Internet Advertising Bureau, the organization dedicated to promoting the use and effectiveness of advertising on the Internet. We welcome Ad Age's comments from its editorial, "IAB Misstep" (AA, July 1).

While you blessed our goals, you questioned our organization's definition of advertising revenue along traditional lines. You raised an important concern: "Advertising on the Net cannot remain fixed in the commodity mentality."

We agree. We acknowledge that one tremendous appeal of the Internet is the potential for new, non-traditional revenue streams to emerge as a result of new marketing and advertising paradigms. However, we stand by the revenue and reporting system being administered by the IAB.

Our point of view is simple: Walk before you run. At the moment, non-traditional revenue like joint venture content deals and creative fees do not adhere to a clear standard which would allow the creation of a responsible report. By comparison, the banners, middle pages and other "traditional" revenues seen across the WWW today are standardized and more easily tracked. It also should be noted that these "traditional" forms did not exist just a few years ago.

Today, we embark on a project to responsibly monitor their marketing value and growth. We also set out to work with agencies, advertisers and others in the marketing community to evolve beyond these traditions. As we evolve, we will find ways to integrate our progress into reportage.

Rich LeFurgy

Acting chairman

IAB Steering Committee

VP-advertising and product development

Starwave Corp.

Seattle

Money makes smart people do some very dumb things. It is sad, but not too surprising, to see ad industry executives going through their contortions to justify cigarette advertising. With billions of dollars at stake, maybe it's just too difficult to face the truth that these products are killing more people every day than the AIDS virus-and most other viruses combined. Ironically, the same agency creatives working on today's cigarette campaign might be working on tomorrow's pro bono AIDS awareness campaign. And that's the real tragedy.

The agency honchos can hide behind the First Amendment and say that advertisers have a right to promote their products no matter how deadly they may be. But let's remember that these ads don't exist without the hard work of copywriters, art directors and legions of creative people.

The agency executives may be willing to grab the tobacco industry's blood money, but not without the obedient compliance of the creative teams. Creative people can make a choice not to direct their talents toward destructive products. Would you agree to write a headline for a snack food laced with poison? Would you illustrate an ad for a radioactive drink? What is the difference?

Chances are very high that someone in your family has died a slow, painful death courtesy of the tobacco industry. You really want to use your creative gifts to make smoking look like fun? Then you are as guilty as any of them-First Amendment or not.

David Sylvestre

Warwick, R.I.try's blood money, but not without the obedient compliance of the creative teams.

Creative people can make a choice not to direct their talents toward destructive products. Would you agree to write a headline for a snack food laced with poison? Would you illustrate an ad for a radioactive drink? What is the difference?

Chances are very high that someone in your family has died a slow, painful death courtesy of the tobacco industry. You really want to use your creative gifts to make smoking look like fun? Then you are as guilty as any of them-First Amendment or not.

David sylvestre

Warwick, R.I.

Please allow me to refute Allied Domecq's claim that Beefeater is the world's leading premium gin (AA, July 1).

The No. 1 position belongs securely to Gordon's gin. Gordon's is the largest international gin brand in the world, selling over 5.3 million cases worldwide.

Beefeater, while active with consumer public relations and trade efforts, is still small compared to Gordon's. In fact, according to Impact International, Beefeater is the 43rd largest premium brand spirit (the 5th largest premium gin) at a reported 2.2 million cases sold, while Gordon's, atop the gin category, is the 7th largest premium brand spirit.

Marlene Fern Dobrins

Associate brand manager

United Distillers USA

Stamford, Conn.

In view of the Southern Baptists' resolution to boycott the Walt Disney family for being "anti-family," perhaps Disney could create a new theme park just for them.

They could call it "It's a Small, Small Mind."

Alan L. Light

Iowa City, Iowa

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