LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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In "HFM cuts rate bases, raises readers' costs" (AA, Nov. 4), [the] reporting about Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. strategy to raise prices to the reader while lowering rate base guarantees on certain titles, including Premiere, neglected to include vital and relevant information about our business strategy. An important component of that strategy is our appointment of David J. Fishman, senior VP-brand development for HFM U.S., to group publishing director overseeing Premiere's sales and marketing efforts. David has extensive magazine, film, TV and licensing experience and will continue in his responsibilities as head of Hachette Enterprises, the arm of the company that handles strategic partnerships and licensing agreements.

HFM U.S. is concentrating on delivering more of what the reader wants, and we will charge that reader more for the magazine.

Ad Age's editorial in the same issue ("Are magazines ready to change?") states it best: "Stop talking about problems, start solving them. We enthusiastically second that ... the [magazine] industry appears to mostly agree about what's gone wrong-and in that there is a great opportunity. Some magazines have cut rate bases ... to deliver a higher-quality audience. Others should overturn long-standing practices that no longer work and define a better model." We couldn't agree more.

Jack Kliger

President and CEO

Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

New York

Integration of creative, media? We're doing it

After reading "Creative and media agencies to merge again?" (AdAge.com QwikFIND: aao13h), it struck me that Starcom is of the opinion that the integration of creative and media agencies is a trend in our industry. Universal McCann is there right now, and has been since we launched as the branded media-services agency of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup in 1999. (In fact, we just celebrated our three-year anniversary). During our launch, the industry was claiming media had to become an isolated unbundled specialty, separated from brand strategy. We took a contrary view (an approach that was controversial at the time): that the future of media was in elevating its status within the emerging world of brand-focused total communications.

Our model of operation is unique in today's media-services marketplace, and this position has placed us at a vantage point. While we have been successful in winning third-party media assignments ($100 million Maytag being a prominent example), it has also allowed us to connect to a full range of advertising and non-advertising communications companies. And we proudly state many of our existing and new-business clients (the most recent example being Avaya) are the direct result of this relationship

"Don't be surprised if creative agencies are reunited with media agencies," says Starcom? We say, "Welcome home."

Robin Kent

Chairman-CEO

Universal McCann

New York

NCN: little impact from Regal network

While undoubtedly inadvertent, two misleading statements in "Coming to theater near you: targeted, digital ad buying," AA, Oct. 21) have caused confusion about the cinema-advertising industry. I would like to clarify.

A sentence referring to Regal CineMedia's theaters as "covering 75% of the U.S. market" should have said, "coverage in 75% of U.S. markets." (Having coverage in 75% of the DMAs, where other vendors are also present, is not the same as covering 75% of the market itself.)

For additional clarity, the story should also have named the theater chains that were purchased by [Regal CineMedia parent] Regal Entertainment in April 2002, at which time those theaters began exclusively working with Regal CineMedia. Omitting reference to these specific chains suggests that services provided by National Cinema Network, in general, are being "replaced" by Regal. As a matter of fact, National Cinema Network had provided advertising for very few of the theaters now represented by Regal CineMedia and our network of cinema screens was basically unaffected by their entry into the marketplace. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify and publicly address our clients' questions following this article.

Chuck Battey

President

National Cinema Network

Kansas City, Mo.

Creativity still key to agency success

I was disturbed to read Richard Lightburn's Letter to the Editor ("Is `creativity' key to agency success?", Viewpoint, Oct. 28), in which he suggests that agency success is driven more by "an appreciation of business" than by creative excellence. How can you have one without the other? I maintain the most successful agencies today are driven by both. However, I must ask: If "an appreciation of business" does not manifest itself in a powerful creative selling idea, what is Mr. Lightburn's agency offering its clients that they cannot do themselves?

Charlie Claggett

Claggett Creative Consulting

St. Louis

`Rolling Stone' ad needlessly offensive

First, I want to compliment Ad Age, which I enjoy receiving. My reason for writing is the Rolling Stone ad in the Oct. 14 issue. The ad would have been just as effective without the "F" word. There are still many people who do not appreciate the need for such language. I expected Crain Communications [publisher of Ad Age] to have more class.

Robert B. Ott

Chairman

Hennegan Co.

Florence, Ky.

Correction

* In "BofA taps IPG over Omnicom" (Oct. 28, P. 1), and "BofA calls supershop shootout" (Sept. 9, P. 1), Omnicom Group's PHD was incorrectly identified as Bank of America's former media agency. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Bozell handled planning and shared buying with Interpublic's Initiative Media North America when the assignment was moved last August to the Starcom unit of Starcom MediaVest Group, now part of Publicis Groupe.

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