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Hard-to-hire-for cities

Hopefully, Ogilvy & Mather's Steve Hayden merely randomly picked out-and inadvertently picked on-St. Louis as an example of a hard-to-recruit-for city in an article concerning tech and telecommunications agencies battling each other over an evaporating talent pool ("Tech shops tussle," AA, Dec. 1).

While location, location, location might be the most important consideration in the real estate industry, that clearly isn't the only deciding factor in our business. Frankly, without a great client list and an outstanding creative reel, whether your agency is located in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis or Portland, you're gonna have trouble attracting and keeping top talent.

Fortunately at DMB&B/St. Louis we're blessed with both and have consequently recruited staff from both coasts and cities in between. In fact, 55% of our creative staff were lured to St. Louis from other cities because of the strength of our reel and the opportunity to work for some of the best and most progressive clients in the industry-such as Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, M&M/Mars, Coca-Cola and Trans World Airlines.

Not to mention that the cost of living in St. Louis is considerably more reasonable (second lowest) and our housing affordability is fifth in the nation. We've been ranked by Fortune as one of the top 10 cities in which to live and work.

Charlie Claggett

Managing Director

Chief Creative Officer

D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles

St. Louis

Ameritech's review

The editorial in your Nov. 11 issue, "Ameritech's gift horse," gives a generous compliment to Ameritech with one hand and then takes it away with the other hand with a reference to "poison pill." This is unfair.

Poison pill? What has happened to agency loyalty to a client and its brand assets? In a win/win client/agency partnership, when a client endows an agency with trade secrets and other highly sensitive competitive information, why should the client not require the agency (at least for a period of time) not to resign the client's account opportunistically for "greener pastures" (a competitive account)? It is this kind of self-serving interest that makes it difficult for some advertisers to treat an agency as a partner and to entrust the agency with the client's crown jewels, its brand assets.

The editorial in suggesting otherwise in the name of "breaking new ground" is turning the clock back to a time when clients were less aware of their fiduciary responsibility for managing the marketing communications investment.

Arthur A. Anderson

Principal, Morgan, Anderson & Co.

New York

Editor's note: Morgan, Anderson & Co., was consultant to Ameritech Corp. in its recent review for its $100 million media buying assignment. In the review, Ameritech said the winning agency would have to agree not to resign the Ameritech media account if it later took on creative work for another telecommunications company.

Reaching women

I was fascinated to read "Relationships key in reaching women" by Faith Popcorn and Adam Hanft (AA, Nov. 12). As the president of one of the nation's oldest women's colleges, I am confident that as women assume leadership roles their presence changes social structures for the better.

Much academic research supports the notion that women perceive the world differently from men. When women and men embrace the emphasis on values, collaboration and cooperation that naturally arises from feminine models, we find a humane alternative to hierarchy and compartmentalization. This alternative is also proving to be good for business.

As the authors point out so articulately, the introduction of this new way of thinking into marketing and advertising has the potential to improve communication across genders and integrate values with corporate image.

While the authors suggest, perhaps ironically, that business schools should stay away from EVEolutionary notions, I suggest we encourage the introduction of these exciting ideas into the higher education curriculum. We will be teaching future leaders the models they will need for success in a more gender-equal world, and we will help our colleges and universities keep pace with the real transformations taking place in the business community.

Lisa Marsh Ryerson

President, Wells College

Aurora, N.Y.

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