Letters, March 23, 2009

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Newspaper chart misses big picture

RE: "Where 1990's Top Papers Are Now" (AA, March 9). Thanks for your misleading, out-of-context chart comparing newspaper circulation from 1990 to 2008 in your March 9 double issue.

While it's true that the 25 metro newspapers you listed experienced a 19% decline in the past 18 years (although their total print and online audience has grown), you neglected to mention that during that same time period, prime-time network TV ratings dropped 37% and the top 25 consumer magazines lost 20% of their circulation. Even Ad Age's circulation fell 36%.

Randy Siegel
Parade Publications
New York

Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

RE: "TV Everywhere -- as Long as You Pay for It" (AA, March 2). Time Warner may own a lot of networks, but Jeff Bewkes is still trying to sell his meal ticket, when all consumers want are snacks. "The Sopranos" doesn't need HBO anymore. If David Chase wanted to put a season eight out, online, independently, viewers would pay and sponsors would come.

The day of the TV/cable network is over. The only networks that count are an IP-based one to deliver the content and the network of relationships developed by the content producer with the content consumers.

Consumers will either pay or accept ads from highly targeted, personalized marketing provided via a trusted friend who knows them well (Google, TiVo, Netflix, Amazon or iTunes). Why buy a network bundle when all you want is "The Daily Show"? Until Bewkes realizes that, his "TV Everywhere" will be everywhere all right; as a torrent on thousands of servers.

David Esrati
Chief creative officer
The Next Wave
Dayton, Ohio

Why Cannes is still important

Full disclosure: I have been asked to serve as jury president for the 2009 Cannes Direct Lions. It's no secret that I'm a great believer in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. It's my feeling that it's the greatest international showcase for creativity in advertising, including direct marketing, in the world.

But it's a place where American work hasn't been given its fair shake.

American businesses generate some of the best direct-marketing pieces in the world. Our work is smart, targeted, saleable and effective. Moreover, according to the Direct Marketing Association, it generated more than $2 trillion in sales in 2008. That's the message I am bringing to Cannes with me: The best advertising produces tangible results that are measurable. That's a message that goes a long way today -- and resonates with clients.

American direct marketing has set the standard in creativity and effectiveness. Now we need to tell the world. There is no better place to do that than in Cannes.

I encourage American businesses and agencies to enter their work into, and participate in, the Cannes Lions competition. The only way to ensure that the U.S. has a shot at the winner's circle is through increased participation.

Let the world (and your clients) know that American DM delivers real business results.

David Sable
Vice chairman-chief operating officer
New York

Ethnic shops must take risks for change

RE: "Multicultural Shops at Risk in the Frenemy Era" (AdAge.com, March 11). Once again, it feels like we are saying to wait for someone else to fix the problem.

Relying on people to do right without some form of major effort on the part of the wronged party is foolish. It did not work for blacks in the south or Chinese railroad workers or Hispanic farm workers. Each group had to stand up and demand better treatment.

The problem is that doing so comes with a risk. It requires a willingness to lose the little we already have to gain what should be ours already.

Am I blowing things out of proportion? No. Step back and look at the relationship of general-market shops to multicultural shops, and see if you cannot draw a parallel with white and black societies leading up to and through the civil-rights movement. Are we not separate and not equal?

We will continue to be so until multicultural shops decide they deserve to be treated as equals and stand up for that. Those of you who think it will naturally change, wait for it.

Derek Walker
Brown and Browner Advertising
Grand Prairie, Texas


RE: "Where 1990's Top Papers Are Now" (AA, March 9). The article incorrectly stated that 21 of 1990's top 25 papers have lost ground since then. The correct number of papers is 20.

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