There is certainly an epidemic of advertising these days which is so busy entertaining that it forgets to sell something. The chimps to me are a great example of that disease.
But to go on to name it "creeping BBDOism" seems to me to ignore that agency's distinguished record for really selling: Once there was only American Express, until someone created a serious competition with "Visa. It's everywhere you want to be." And, while GE is considered one of the best-run companies in America, they certainly aren't hurt by their advertising consistently "Bringing good things to life." And, at least to me, Federal Express advertising has gotten better, not worse. And who gives Coke the award over Pepsi for advertising that actually sells something?
Many of us consider BBDO the best current proof that big doesn't have to equal bad. I'm writing because they may be too busy doing good work to do so themselves.
Jerry & Ketchum
I enjoyed reading Don Tapscott's article about the N-Generation (Forum, AA, Oct. 14), although I believe he is out of touch with the generation he writes about.
It is true that we of the N-Generation (I myself being 22) work and learn differently from our parents. Of course the times are always changing.
But in his article he says "Unlike their baby boomer parents, they [N-Geners] have no fear." What kind of statement is this? Especially today with AIDS, overpopulation, homelessness, militant militias, guns in schools, heroin . . . It is not all videogames and Web surfing. We are in a position to be worse off than our parents, a first in American history.
The statistics mentioned by the Alliance for Converging Technologies claim that there will be 100% access for children under 18 by 1998, but they do not mention the start-up costs for actually accessing the Net. What about those who do not even have money for heat and food?
I really did like the way the author described those using the net "crystalizing around a new communications medium," and saying that censorship will have no place with the N-Geners, who are used to access of the whole world. Who would have figured that a commu-LETTERS from Page 28
nication system created by the Defense Department is becoming the biggest tool of anarchy?
Thank you for the article, but before writing about people, get to know them first.
Do not just look at marketing trends. Talk to them, ask them their fears. A little research goes a long way.
In re your article on split decisions (AA, Nov. 11): I think there is a deeper reason for advertisers splitting creative responsibilities between three, four and five agencies.
Some sort of mega-trend is affecting everyone.
I am observing, and finding evidence of it in other stories, that new ideas are appearing in multiple forms spread over several localities, and that the whole process of human evolution is turning into a global affair.
Everything seems to be happening in an interconnected way.
Video conferencing systems and the Internet are only another expression of this process.
I think all this would become very clear if Advertising Age would, instead of looking from corporate headquarters out into the world, take the multiple point of view of the world and mark out the most influential initiators.
The global village is no longer a vision, but a vibrant reality.
Gerhard F. Haupt
Gerhard F. Haupt Consultancy
Swansea, Wales (U.K.)
Sometimes an old cliche is the only thing that is appropriate. Such is the case with your ad placement on pages 12 and 13 of your Oct. 21 issue: "It went over like a lead balloon!"
One ad features a photograph of what is proclaimed as the "World's Largest Airship." Directly opposite a full-page ad shows an almost identical "airship" (blimp) constructed of heavy metal with the headline, "The promotion looks strong, all the parts are in place-but will it fly?"
Not exactly the best reinforcement to motivate a lease on the airship advertised on the preceding page!
It's a good thing for Ad Age that your Bob Garfield doesn't review ad placement!
Gregg A. Emmer
VP-marketing, Kaeser & Blair