Say "Ogilvy" in Washington and most people assume you are talking about a leading public-affairs firm with strong ties to organized labor and Democratic interests-not a famous New York-based ad agency. Indeed, the firm that was Ogilvy, Adams & Rinehart, and is now Ogilvy PR, was for a time Powell, Adams & Rinehart, when Jody Powell, Jimmy Carter's White House press secretary, was the principal.
There has always been somewhat of a revolving door between Ogilvy PR and Capitol Hill and Democratic administrations, although the senior Ogilvy PR staff is by no means exclusively Democratic. If I had to guess why a red-meat conservative like Bob Barr seemingly had it in for "Ogilvy," I would bet top dollar that Barr sees Ogilvy PR as a tool of the Democratic National Committee and its varied interests.
My guess is that the subtleties of WPP Group's distinct ownership of the two Ogilvys (PR and advertising) escapes Rep. Barr (and virtually everyone else in Washington). Indeed, Ogilvy PR does not even work on the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
And, having spent four years in Washington working at what is now Ogilvy PR, I can say Barr has it wrong anyway. Ogilvy PR has represented, and so far as I know still does represent, corporate, industry and labor interests (the DNC not among them) of all stripes with integrity and skill.
And the voters in Georgia recently let the rest of us know what they think of Bob Barr.
FASB explanations raise more questions
The letter from Don Schultz (of Northwestern University) and Ron Lunde ("FASB change means pressure on agencies," Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 12) baffles me.
"The advertising community must be prepared for what will now be an ongoing scrutiny of investments and returns." Something new about that?
"That vision must clearly articulate the short-term incremental and the longer-term brand-building capabilities (expressed as incremental product sold, return on investment or increase in brand equity) of advertising recognized as an expense." They leave us right where we've been since "advertising" was first conjured.
How do we "isolate" and "measure" ad investments re:
"Incremental product sold"-Don't pricing, product quality, distribution also affect all this?
"Return on investment"-How in the world do you figure that one?
"Increase in brand equity"-Meaning what? How measured? How related to ad investments?
Please excuse my bafflement.
H. E. McDonald
H. E. McDonald Associates
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Good creatives know how to sell their work
"Creatives fail key test" (Forum, AA, Aug. 5) is a bit off the track. The author [Mark Gale, chief operating officer-creative director, Nelson Schmidt, Milwaukee] obviously doesn't come in contact with the really great ones. I have been a creative recruiter/agency owner for a lot of years. Good talent knows how to sell their work. And as for spec work on restaurants, etc., don't discount that. Tom McElligott did work for Elmers Minnows, 7 South 8th for Hair and others. That and a lot of hard work propelled the agency he helped found to be one of the best.
Gerdes & Associates
Club 18-30 ads are brave and innovative
Re: The Club 18-30 Holidays ads and "Let's think before we honor" (Forum, AA, Aug. 26). I am 30 years old and I love these ads as a consumer and as advertising professional. I applaud them because of their relevant, brave, provoking, involving, entertaining and innovative visual [interpretation] of an ordinary and usual idea.
We are far from the Middle Ages and its ubiquitous inquisition. I believe our colleagues have made the hardest thing to present so simple an idea (which is dangerous to play with) via brilliant art direction. Well done!
Club 18-30 ads work by spurring reaction
Kirk Carr's "Let's think before we honor" essay (Forum, AA, Aug. 26) in actuality pays tribute to the very campaign and direction he seeks to rebuke. Indifference is the bane of advertising. His article proved the effectiveness of Club 18-30 Holidays' ads as much as any campaign can hope to accomplish-because it cut through to his conscious mind and elicited a reaction. Quite simply, it worked, as Mr. Carr unintentionally demonstrated.
Andrew Webb Advertising Communications
East Greenwich, R.I.
Club 18-30 ads are abhorrently low
It is painful to see an industry to which one has devoted the better part of his life sink to such abhorrent lows ("Let's think before we honor," Forum, AA, Aug. 26). Whether the issue is decency, sophomoric thinking or the mere satisfaction of shareholders in bloated holding companies, our industry is lost. Kirk Carr's article is a tasteful and timely eulogy.
Westlake Village, Calif.
* A story on Sony Computer Entertainment's PS2 (AA, Sept. 2, P. 4) incorrectly attributed market share projections to NPD FunWorld.