As a golf author and a golfer, I think I can state without reservation that there are no courses today that would discriminate against Mr. Woods or anyone else of color. Not these days! Sure, it hasn't always been thus, but the color barriers have dropped long ago. If Nike knows something I don't know, they should put their money where their mouth is and haul that golf course owner, or its board of directors, to court.
Instead, they're trying to turn Mr. Woods into the M.L. King Jr. of the fairways, which is not only unfair to Mr. Woods but also to the golfing community. It's race exploitation at its worst!
If Nike will lift their sanctimonious heads high enough they'll notice that African-Americans have been playing on the pro tour-out of the finest country clubs in the world-since before Mr. Woods was born.
George Blake & Associates
I found Michael Wilke's article on the new Abercrombie & Fitch campaign (AA, Sept. 16) very disturbing. The headline alone, "Gay overtones seen in Abercrombie ads" reeks of blacklisting in the sense that it is so quick to label.
Just because Bruce Weber has beautifully photographed male nudes in the past does not mean that the pictures he took of father and son Patrick and Anthony Wayne are in any way meant to portray any elements of homoeroticism.
The photographs capture a real and tender moment between a father and son and if Mr. Wilke chooses to read into that, then that's his own prejudice coming out. There is nothing homoerotic about this campaign, created by Sam Shahid, and to state it as fact is not only wrong, it's irresponsible.
Landey & Partners, Grounds
Morris, New York
You're preparing an ad for 76 gasoline at Stop and Go locations. You want some exciting music underneath, so you pick an opera segment that seems agitated and passionate. The voice in Italian is singing"Tu? Tu? Piccolo Iddio" ("You? You? Little idol! Flower of the lily and the rose.") Sound okay so far?
But did you know that music happens when Puccini's Madame Butterfly, disgraced and abandoned, is preparing to commit hara-kiri? As she points the knife toward her body, her little idol, her small and fatherless son, shockingly rushes into the room. She drops the knife and embraces him in tears ("Look well on your mother's face, that you may keep a faint memory of it"), then sends him away ("Go. Play, play") and completes her task. Curtain.
You feel that's going to sell a hell of a lot of gasoline! Or is it that you just didn't know?
Ivan L. Preston
University of Wisconsin
In 1993 I started Travelhost of Charlottesville magazine as part of Travelhost of Dallas. . . .I was selling advertising primarily to restaurants [and] many of these establishments wanted to pay for advertising via trade for food and beverage. After collecting many "gift certificates" from these fine restaurants I began to wonder how I could turn them into cash.
I read an article about Transmedia on the front page of Advertising Age in summer of 1994. Transmedia is a credit-card based restaurant charge card that purchases food and beverage credits! I contacted Jim Callaghan, president, and purchased the restaurant franchise for most of the state of Virginia. Because of my success trading advertising for F&B credit I was able to convince several resorts and hotels .*.*. to offer lodging, golf, skiing, etc. for advertising trade.
I am now president of Transmedia Sports & Leisure, working with several large ad agencies in New York through CSI International, a barter company, to trade advertising for credit with several national lodging chains. All because of Advertising Age!
I also like your Web site as well as your print edition.
In "Numbers for the Nineties" (Sept. 30, P. 40), NPD Group created the men's wear apparel study. Parks Associates was not involved.
In "A-B, Tartikoff team for TV show set at Sea World" (Sept. 23, P. 3), Procter & Gamble Co. should have been mentioned as the advertiser that had an equity stake in CBS' "Northern Exposure.'