Thanks for printing Sean Fitzpatrick's letter ("Let's brand good ads," Letters to the Editor, AA, Feb. 25). In addressing the issue of beneficial and ethical advertising-the contrary being "trash" advertising, in his parlance-Sean raises an aspect of a larger issue that all people who love this business and have insight need to address:
What, today, is the role and responsibility of advertising, and other marketing communications from marketers, in the service of consumers? What is the marketing industry's alignment with the public? What are the ground rules? What are societal "best practices" in this area?
These issues are not presently dealt with in any meaningful, concerted way, and Sean's letter opens the door to one of a number of important related issues. If we don't deal with this, we'll be the pariahs some already think we are.
Arthur A. Anderson
Morgan Anderson Consulting
Garfield right about Coke
I just read Bob Garfield's AdReview on the Coca-Cola Olympic spots ("Coke's new spots may be cute, but they're a far cry from ironic," AA, Feb. 18) and he's nailed it.
Coca-Cola has the largest, longest and perhaps richest trove of Americana, more than any other product, and its advertising chooses to go elsewhere. Tragic. To quote the late McCann-Erickson CEO, Paul Foley: "Give `em a yacht, they holler for oars."
Exec VP-Creative Director
Simons Michelson Zieve
So just what is the meaning of `mLife'?
Rance Crain is so right about those wasted `mLife' ads ("Unintended results haunt AT&T Wireless, Taco Bell," Viewpoint, AA, Feb. 25).
I was at a Super Bowl party attended by several financial/insurance people who immediately associated the ads with Met Life. I didn't make that connection but was sufficiently confused, and wondered who would spend $2 million per :30 ad and keep the advertiser's identity a secret.
I'm an AT&T customer and I still have no idea what the heck mLife is or does.
Julie Langford Croninger
Sherry Matthews Advertising & Public Relations
More than a marketplace
Re: Rance Crain's "U.S. marketers must develop products to help Third World" (Viewpoint, AA, Dec. 3): A nation is much more than a marketplace. It seems to me to be self-important grandstanding to equate marketing soft drinks to nation-building. And make no mistake, this is what these companies are doing.
He gave the examples of two companies that want to market some nutritious product to garner favorable consumer attitudes to "smooth the way for their other, more mainstream brands." The country-specific goods in question might not be good for the country in question even if they address some particular need. High-quality, low-cost goods are certainly in the best interests of people everywhere. But it is not at all clear high-quality, low-cost imported goods are in their interest. It might not even be in their interest if the goods are made locally and the profit flows out of the country ...
Wouldn't our selling more goods and services be blanketing the world even more? Wouldn't that be reason for those very same people who resent us now to continue to resent us in the future? What he is claiming may be true-that exposure to quality American goods and services in some way acclimates the consumer to thinking positively of America and Americans in general. But I think the reasoning is not good here. American cultural dominance and export is perceived to be a critical problem in many countries around the world, and he is advocating more of the same as the solution to that problem. It won't work.
Red Lake Department
of Natural Resources
Wrong RX for terror
Re: Bert Cox letter ("Switch `war' target from terrorism to racism," AA, Letters to the Editor, Jan. 14):
"Own up to the fact that they have legitimate gripes and terrorism will go away ..."? This is the approach, discredited by actual events throughout history, that appeasers have attempted to sell in every situation where the U.S. has been threatened. Love your enemies. Quit protecting your vital interests. Abandon your friends. Give `em what they want and they'll leave you alone. My guess is Mr. Cox handed over a lot of lunch money during his school years.
The stated purpose of the terrorists is the destruction of the U.S. A "40-year campaign with lots of incentives" is not going to make that go away. Mr. Cox seems to think that terrorism is a measured response to our foreign policy. He gives these people too much credit. They're nut-jobs. They should be dealt with as such. ... Should we accept Mr. Cox's proposed solution, American policy would be determined by anybody with an ax to grind and the ability to wield it.
* In "In segment of indulgences, titles are crucial to beauty campaigns" (March 4, P. S-14), due to a production error the photo identified as Eva Dillon, publisher of Fairchild Publications' Jane, was not of Ms. Dillon. The published photo was of Dene Callas, co-managing director/chief strategic officer, Grey Global Group's MediaCom, New York. The correct photo of Ms. Dillon is shown here.