Early one morning in 1953, the late Paul West, the first full-time president of the Association of National Advertisers, found Gil Weil waiting when he arrived at his office. I.W. Diggs, the ANA general counsel, had died the night before and Gil was there to break the news and assure Paul the law firm in which Gil was then an associate would not miss a beat. Gil's confidence and tenacity would pay countless dividends to ANA for many years to come. Shortly thereafter, Gilbert H. Weil was named ANA general counsel, a post he held for 49 years.
His relationship with ANA began 18 years earlier, in 1935, while Gil was a clerk during law school, and it chronicled every challenge and regulatory threat to advertising over the course of 67 years. He became a recognized authority on the First Amendment and championed it in his practice, in lectures and in contributions to professional publications.
Gil died on April 22, four months short of his 90th birthday. Over a long, distinguished career, his energies were devoted primarily to two loves: the law and Louise, his wife and helpmate for 52 years. Two sons, two grandsons and a great-grandson brought him great joy.
In 1985, at ANA's 75th annual meeting (the 50th anniversary of Gil's association with ANA), he was elected honorary director for life. His retirement was the subject of frequent speculation but, despite a mild heart attack in 1987, Gil maintained a full work schedule. He attended the April board meetings of ANA and the Advertising Research Foundation, where he was also general counsel.
Gil Weil truly was one of life's extras. His covenant to Paul West never was compromised. This noble man never missed a beat with either of his loves. Fond memories of him, his friendship and his unselfish dedication to serving advertising and advertisers, and the joy it brought him, never will fade.
DeWitt Helm Jr.
Mr. Helm was president of the ANA from 1984 to 1993.
What new Euro RSCG structure will achieve
On May 2, Euro RSCG Worldwide did something unprecedented for an agency network: We created two new, fully integrated agencies in North America, combining 11 existing agencies across all marketing communications disciplines ("FYI," The Week, AA, May 6). The two new agencies each have a single P&L, CEO and management team-all designed to break down financial, structural and physical barriers to integration.
By combining best-in-class agencies across advertising, direct marketing, interactive, sales promotion, event marketing, PR and consulting, we have made high-level, media-neutral creativity a reality. This new structure will help us meet clients' growing demands for integrated marketing and ensure that we deliver on our promise of "creative business ideas"-integrated communications solutions that go beyond traditional advertising, combining strategy and creativity in new ways to add to the value of our clients' businesses and brands.
Euro RSCG Worldwide
FTC's Anthony correct: self-regulation needed
Re: "Media companies spark ire of FTC commissioner" (AA, April 22). We agree with Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Sheila Anthony's call for increased self-regulation in the area of dietary supple- ments. Almost 60% of our current National Advertising Division (NAD) caseload is in the area of advertising health claims. Our 30 years of archives are rich with important ad law decisions on the subject. That's why we believe that increased self-regulatory efforts should logically be channeled through the existing NAD process, which Commissioner Anthony has said is "a model of self- regulation and has the respect of the industry."
Increased support of the ad industry's self-regulatory forum-the National Advertising Review Council (NARC), which includes NAD and also the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU)-can achieve the desired goal of improving consumer protection. And, in the process, this increased support will achieve another desirable goal: minimizing government involvement.
NARC support is generated through membership in the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), which currently includes a number of prominent and concerned members of the media community, from TV networks and magazines to the Internet. We have also already enlisted the active support of some of the trade associations that involve both media and health-care advertisers. It's time for all stakeholders in advertising, including those in the media, to step up their support on behalf of the industry from which they benefit.
Thanks to Randall, Jay
There are days when you have to wonder if today's agency managements possess the clarity and vision that Randall Rothenberg so perfectly described in his testimonial to Jay Chiat ("While carping daily, Jay Chiat reshaped modern advertising," Viewpoint, AA, April 29). Then, when you read in the same issue the magnificent tribute [ad that] Chiat/Day penned about Jay, its founder, you sense that the talent does exist to bring our industry back from mainly a business venture to a true venture in delivering meaningful, moving communication. Thanks Randall. Thanks Chiat/Day. And, of course, thanks Jay.
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
* The photos of Kraft Foods North America President-CEO Betsy Holden ("Food industry growth stalls," May 6, Pages 1 and 16) should have been credited to photographer Paul Elledge.
* In "Flavor savers," the table accompanying the story "Cola wars splinter" (April 29, P. 3), it was incorrectly stated that Pepper-type drinks held a 20.4% share of the soft drink market in 2000. The correct figure is an 8.5% share.