WORLD CUP WILL SCORE; JOE CAMEL ONLY ONE TARGET; DIDN'T PRAISE BIKER BOOK; CHILKO STORY MISSED POINT

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After reading "Tournament fails to stir mania for sport in U.S." (AA, June 6), I feel it is necessary to set the record straight on MasterCard's overall position on our World Cup sponsorship.

MasterCard's sponsorship of the World Cup is the largest sponsorship we've ever undertaken. In fact, MasterCard and our member financial institutions have spent approximately $75 million on advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations to support it. Also, every MasterCard region and department within these regions has been fully involved in the development and implementation of this sponsorship and its support programs, and our members around the world have provided their enthusiastic support.

Most importantly, MasterCard undertook this sponsorship because we felt it is the perfect way to build brand awareness globally: the "marriage" of a global company with the largest sporting event in the world. The benchmark of success for this sponsorship is that worldwide exposure for the 52 World Cup matches will generate more than 30 billion impressions-unprecedented in the global sponsorship arena.

It is also worth noting that 91,000-plus fans attended the Mexico vs. USA exhibition match at the Rose Bowl and 75,000-plus the Greece vs. Columbia match at Giants Stadium this past weekend. Clearly, someone must be interested in World Cup in this country.

Joseph V. Tripodi

Senior VP-global marketing

MasterCard International

New York

Your editorial calling for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to give up Joe Camel (AA, June 13) baffles me.

Understand that the antismoking industry will be satisfied with nothing short of a total ban on cigarette advertising. Our dropping the Joe Camel advertising campaign will not appease these groups. Instead of continuous headlines about Joe, you'd be writing about the assault on our competitors' advertising. If you have any doubts about that, reference The New York Times' story of June 3, "Joe Camel may have won the battle, but the war against cigarette advertising continues." In that piece, Stuart Elliott quotes Dr. Alan Blum, founder and chairman of Doctors Ought to Care: "Obsessive cries on our side that `Joe Camel must go"' have meant "we forgot the Marlboro man..." Dropping Joe Camel will not "take a weapon away from (militant tobacco foes)," as you suggest; it will simply shift the focus to other brands.

Clearly the Federal Trade Commission spent enormous effort taking an exhaustive look at the Camel campaign. Had the Journal of the American Medical Association articles of December 1991-the very basis on which Ad Age originally based its position on Camel-had even a shred of validity, you can bet we would be facing a protracted legal process rather than the exoneration given Joe Camel last week.

The truth is we don't want kids to smoke and we actively sponsor programs to enforce age restrictions. The FTC, after careful investigation, found no evidence to support allegations to the contrary. However, essentially what Ad Age has said to the advertising world is that it's not enough to be right; that the politically expedient route is more important than sound business decisions based on marketplace performance and consumer demands. We are not, as you accuse us, simply ensuring sales and profits for Camel today. We are working for the shareholders of RJR Nabisco, responsibly producing a campaign to ensure a long-term repositioning of what was a flagging brand, thereby enhancing the value of their holdings.

What has happened over the past three years with Camel and the tobacco industry can happen to any manufacturer of any product in America. Collectively, industry has to take a stand and send a message to political advocacy groups that they should not and will not make the choices for the American people.

James W. Johnston

Chairman-CEO

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Winston-Salem, N.C.

Thank you, Jim Brady. At this point in my life it is a high compliment to be mentioned in Advertising Age, and I appreciate it (Brady's Bunch, AA, May 30).

But there is one error in Jim's paragraph, and it may well be the fault of The New York Times reporter who wrote that otherwise excellent story about me and my pro bono job as publisher of Westchester Arts News. Honest, despite the onset of senility, I still wouldn't ever call Biker Tattoo a magazine worthy of praise. Amazement, yes. Praise? No. I merely cited it as an example of the extremes in segmented marketing that characterize the magazine business these days.

Martin Schrader

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Your recent coverage of HBO's "White Mile" and the "Legacy of Chilko" (AA, May 23) missed the point-the lesson of Chilko-the importance of safety and the critical need to avoid placing people in dangerous situations over which they have no control or feel unable to refuse to participate.

The coercion involved in inducing employees to participate in company-sponsored activities such as mountain climbing, survival training and other dangerous outings is real. Participants are judged to have proven their "worth." Those who opt not to participate are judged "wimps," potentially damaging their prospects for advancement. Whether it happens in ad agencies or elsewhere, this is unconscionable.

The organizers of these activities have a responsibility to ensure that adequate safety precautions have been taken. The fact that participants may not be employees in no way lessens the responsibility.

In the Chilko case, there was no evidence that any of the appropriate safety measures were taken or that the risk was communicated to participants. For example:

The Chilko's 6 rating indicates "imminent risk to life"... In fact, there had been several previous deaths, including a kayaker just prior to DDB Needham's trip.

Life jackets were inadequate-no crotch straps to keep them secure and prevent them from riding up, thereby pushing the user down in the water.

Helmets were not provided.

There was no provision for a trailing raft/kayak or spotters along the route to help anyone who fell in the river.

The raft was overloaded, contributing significantly to the guide's inability to maintain control.

Our investigation of the incident pointed out a number of outrageous mistakes and omissions that convinced us that the accident was predictable. Several of these are discussed in some detail in The National Organization of the River Sports' Currents magazine (Winter 1989/90). In investigating the White Mile, NORS' executive director went as far as taking a personal trip on the river. A highly skilled river sportsperson, he found the Chilko to be extremely demanding and dangerous.

DDB Needham's Chilko participants were told that they would have the choice of fishing or rafting throughout the trip. Several, including my father, Bob Goldstein, opted to fish. In fact, while your article seems to make light of the fact that he had fallen out of a raft on an earlier rafting trip (on a river that was far less dangerous), that very incident caused him to give up rafting. However, on the last day, Mr. Wolfe somehow changed the arrangements, making it impossible to get to the charter plane home without traveling by raft.

As a Boy Scout, I loved whitewater canoeing. We ran the rapids, occasionally, fell out of the boat, etc. But safety was always the rule, not the exception, and certainly not an afterthought. This was not the case for the planners of the Chilko trip. If it had been, they would not have taken on the White Mile-they weren't qualified to begin with.

In the final analysis, this is about the reckless disregard for the safety of the group. The lesson of responsibility, of putting safety first, cannot be forgotten.

For me, the worst part is how senseless it all seems. Had there been adequate preparation, had the participants been given readily available information on the character of the Chilko River and an alternate means of transportation, five families would not have been devastated.

Larry Goldstein

VP, Advanswers

St. Louis

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