One of the networks recently ran a news story about Cantor Fitzgerald's new campaign. They interviewed a number of ad executives and the overall impression I got from the story was not a positive one. What gives Cantor Fitzgerald the right to use tragedy to promote their business?
Think about this. In the real world, if Cantor sent each of its associates out to speak to the public on a one-to-one basis, what would the average person ask? I can't imagine anyone not asking about some aspect of 9/11. Given this fact, isn't relevant marketing really about communicating what people want or need to know? I believe that's what our business is all about. Unlike some critics, I applaud Cantor for addressing the issue. Without it, I believe they would have totally missed the mark.
Would I choose to do business with Cantor Fitzgerald solely based on the tragedy? Probably not. Would I be more inclined to deal with them because of their moral commitments to the families of the victims? Probably yes. I hope their business recovers and prospers in order to remain a profitable entity for their current associates as well as the families of the victims.
Paul E. Toub
Anthony Home Improvements
Elkins Park, Pa.
Editor's note: Bob Garfield awarded the campaign three of out a possible four stars ("Cantor Fitzgerald employees tell 9/11 stories in new spots," AdReview, AA, June 3).
DTC ad spending was understated
I read with great interest the Special Report on DTC Advertising (AA, May 27). As general manager of Quantum Group, which created the "breakthrough" ad using the first celebrity spokesperson, I agree with [Bates Healthworld Exec VP] Frank Hone. He noted the use of celebrities drive brand and ad awareness ("Drugmakers up use of celebs in ads, risking an overdose or critics' ire," AA, May 27). Most importantly, as Joan Lunden [ a Claritin spokesperson] was an allergy sufferer herself, she was perceived as credible and relevant by viewers, which still remains the most important criterion when selecting a spokesperson.
Separately, one oft-quoted statistic in the Special Report was the total measured-media spending figure of $2.5 billion in 2001. The correct 2001 figure is $2.78 billion, encompassing all branded and disease state DTC spending (this figure excludes corporate branding campaigns). The numerical difference may not seem that significant, but the importance of the $2.78 billion figure is that it represents an 11% increase from 2000, whereas the $2.5 billion figure would have resulted in no change from the prior year's spending. ... While the spending has provided fodder for the drug-cost debate, it's important for Advertising Age, the voice of our industry, to recognize DTC spending as one of the few growth engines remaining in the ad world.
Exec VP-General Manager
Division of CommonHealth
Editor's note: 2001 DTC measured media spending was $2.5 billion, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
`DTP' leading edge in Rx marketing
Given how critical targeted communications are for pharmaceutical marketers, I was surprised to find no discussion of direct response advertising or relationship marketing in Ad Age's Special Report on "DTC Marketing." At my agency, where we handle several major prescription brands, our clients have questioned the rationale of general consumer advertising and are seeking more targeted and efficient ways to identify and communicate with a defined patient population. Our combination of brand response advertising and database marketing offers a unique solution to targeting, capturing and converting high-value patient segments and then building loyalty and adherence to our client's medication, as prescribed by their doctor.
This is why we prefer a DTP, or direct-to-patient, marketing model, which recognizes that not all consumers are patients and that, first and foremost, it is the medical condition driving the need. Additionally, with many of these conditions being chronic, it is critical to establish mutually beneficial long-term relationships with patients. This requires building and nurturing a patient database. It's DTP, not DTC, that is the leading edge for pharmaceutical marketing.
Richard J. Gillespie
When will we learn?
I nearly got whiplash reading the subhead for the story summarizing Ken Kaess' April speech to the American Association of Advertising Agencies management conference ("4A's chairman rues `multiple assaults"', AA, April 22). The subhead states, "Kaess says agency world suffers from effects of economy, consolidation and integrated marketing."
I sincerely hope Mr. Kaess [CEO of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide ] was misquoted. What agency president could seriously suggest integrated marketing is not in the best interests of our clients? Surely we have learned by now that advertising is not the be all and end all it once was. Surely we have learned that the synergy created through integrated marketing communications only serves to make advertising more effective. It is not the enemy. It is our ally.
Villing & Co.
South Bend, Ind.
* In "Dirty little secret: How fraud occurs on Madison Ave." (June 17, P. 3), it was incorrectly stated that Haluk Ergulec, owner of The Color Wheel, is charged with bid-rigging. Mr. Ergulec is charged with mail fraud in connection with an alleged bid-rigging scheme. Color Wheel is charged with bid-rigging.
* In "Arnold bows out of San Francisco" (The Week, June 17, P. 10), it was incorrectly reported that ArnoldMPG and Magnet publications employees were affected by the Arnold office's closing. They were not affected.