Your insightful article, "Research shifts to gauging actual marketing results" (AA, Aug. 11), highlighting a new methodology, called attention to advertising effectiveness. However, I was struck by what seems to be the raising of the white flag by the ad community at large: that the best we can achieve in measurements is determining the number of total resultant impressions. What ever happened to David Ogilvy's admonition that the chief goal of advertising is to increase sales?
The point-of-purchase advertising industry has been unique among mass advertising media in its ability to demonstrate its direct sales impact. Since the advent of scanner technology, brand marketers and retailers have been able to determine which executions worked and which didn't, and redirect resources as appropriate.
A 1994 study undertaken by the Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute jointly with Kmart Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. employed control store testing to demonstrate that products supported with POP displays enjoyed documented and significant sales increases compared to those without such support.
Calculating the number of impressions is nice. But ultimately, advertising's success will-and should-be determined by counting the resultant sales increases.
Richard K. Blatt
Bring back cooperation
Regarding Rance Crain's Aug. 18 column ("The future of America's great brands isn't so hot, and that's not cool"), thank you! . . .
The business really is different today for all the reasons Mr. Crain mentioned. But I have one observation about it all that particularly bothers me.
Whereas in times gone by the business would occasionally go through some tough times for months or a year or so, it always came back. We agency people believed, in good conscience, in what we did. During those times when a client's business slowed, we never gave up trying to convince them that the best thing they might do would be to pour the coals to it and increase advertising rather than cut back.
Sometimes they actually listened to us. I have fond, satisfying memories of working with clients to keep marketing and sales pressure going while their more cautious competitors were cutting back. More often than not the results were sales and share gains that were almost permanent, the LETTERS from Page 38
brand's franchise improved and the client made it a practice to act similarly whenever another downturn seemed imminent.
As Mr. Crain points out, however, marketing cooperation like that between clients and their agencies doesn't exist today.
I don't see advertising and the agency business coming back to anything resembling the way it used to be and, as Mr. Crain also points out, we're losing bright, young, disillusioned people.
But maybe if he keeps writing about the way it used to be, some of the younger crowd will get the message, come back and make a positive difference. Doesn't hurt to hope.
Dean Davis Communications
Brady is off target
In his column of Aug. 18 ("More drama than 'Air Force One?' Try Cuban Missile Crisis"), James Brady writes of the Cuban missile crisis as he perceived it from Paris at the time and as he perceives it now. At least, he says he was in Paris. From his perception of what went on, he must have been on the moon. From his perception now, he's still on the moon.
At the start of the missile crisis, we had missile batteries pointed at the Soviet Union all over Turkey and we were insisting that the Monroe Doctrine still existed. At the conclusion of the missile crisis, we dismantled our batteries in Turkey and the Soviets had a full-time base for 5,000 troops and submarines right off our shores.
We now know that the Soviet Union, in fact, had a minimal nuclear capability at the time. What Khrushchev did was push forth a pawn. Kennedy went for it. Khrushchev took the pawn back and wound up ahead by 50 points because he had gotten rid of the Titans in Turkey and now had a base that, over the years, enabled him to do anything he wanted.
Merrill & Whitehead Corp.
In "Phone foes open new big-bucks marketing war" (Sept. 8, P. 3), MCI Communications Corp.'s new Sunday calling plan features a rate of 5 cents a minute. A system error replaced the cents sign with a diacritical mark.
In "As Wieden grows, Luhr confronts new challenges" (Sept. 8, P. 32), Dave Luhr joined Chiat/Day in 1980 from Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, where he worked on