I read with great interest Randall Rothenberg's column, "Internet/-TV can help CRM answer accountability issue" (Viewpoint, AA, Jan. 21), on customer re-lationship management (CRM) and accountability. Effective, practical CRM need not wait for large-scale adoption of interactive kiosks amid transactions. Multiple touch points can be integrated today, in real time-no matter which media channels customers prefer. And the return on invest-ment can be calculated and delivered in the short term. John Wanamaker may not have lived to see it, but we're making it happen, and he is looking down on us with a happier grin each day.
Convergence is fine if product is usable
I enjoyed Rance Crain's "For con-sumers, more can be less if all those `extras' are unwanted" (View-point, AA, Dec. 17). And I think he might be right. To me, however, usability is central to the issues that consumers have with convergence.
If I had a wireless personal digital assistant/phone that was easy to use and worked, I would use it all the time. If I had a computer/TV/stereo (a true entertainment system) that was easy to use and worked, I would use it all the time. Feature-creep is not what compromises usability but bad design does.
Ultimately, it is a design chal-lenge and we are still allowing cool technology to foreground the con-vergence effort. Take the technol-ogy for granted. ... Sell quality of life and things that actually work. All it takes is one negative experi-ence with a crappy new gadget and consumers become laggards. I own a Palm VII (wireless) and, as a result, am now officially a laggard.
Jersey City, N.J.
Top to bottom idea to improve redesign
I've been an avid reader of Ad Age for years. And as my business picks up, so does my need for informa-tion. Out of the nearly 200 different publications (online and off) that I attempt to read per week, Ad Age always gets my full attention. The new design is great, from new fonts to layout. I'm even reading depart-ments I normally glanced over.
But one thing still annoys me. Why does Ad Age put the page numbers on the top? It frequently continues stories in the back of the book (which is fine if I only wanted the main info). But to find [the continuation of the story] I have to fumble around with both hands, rather than simply scanning the pages at the bottom corners.
Al Berrios iMarketing
Jersey City, N.J.
New look panned
Since I'm out in the far reaches of civilization-Estonia-I have just received the Jan. 14 Ad Age. How disappointing. It always is when something familiar suddenly changes. But you get used to it if the change is for the better. However, the new design is hard to read and certainly no improvement.
Great new look! Quicker read and very contemporary!
John N. Moore
VP-Group Media Director
Y&R's Peter Murphy truly was a legend
The advertising agency business lost one of its most unique individuals when Peter Murphy passed away late last year. I had the fortunate pleasure of working with Peter (although it never seemed like work when it was with Peter) while we managed the Molson USA advertising account at Young & Rubicam, New York, in the mid-`90s.
Peter was truly a legend and a contemporary at the same time. He would recall with passion his past experiences at Doyle Dane Bernbach, the early days at Wells Rich Greene and working with Hal Riney. Yet his current creative ideas were as fresh and relevant as they were early in his career.
Peter was as loyal to his agency, its clients and the members of his agency team as he was to his family and friends. He was the ultimate gentleman in a business that needs more of them. He was never too comfortable with the casual dress code, even in the creative department. His "uniform" of a blue oxford cloth dress shirt, tie, khaki pants and sneakers was as predictable as the warm smile and sarcastic welcome I got as I walked into his office every morning.
He never took himself too seriously. Peter would jokingly salute and call me "The General." (I guess it was a compliment; at least I took it that way.) I will never forget Peter Murphy and I'm better off because of it.
President, CEO and Brand Strategy Director
Editor's note: Mr. Murphy, exec VP-executive creative director at Y&R Advertising, New York, died Nov. 29. He was 61.
* In "TalentClout" (Jan. 28. P. 3), Compaq Computer Corp., Visa International and Tommy Hilfiger were incorrectly named as current corporate clients at the William Morris Agency.
* In "Syndicators eye NY ad confab," (Jan. 28, P. 4), Sony Corp.'s Columbia TriStar Television Distri-bution is taking back more advertis-ing inventory in court show "Judge Hatchett" from local stations, not giving stations more local ad time to sell, as initially reported.
* In "Napkin fights get Brawny" (Jan. 14, P. 12), ads for the campaign will be from Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York, not Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York. Georgia-Pacific Marketing Director Steve LeVeau was misidentified as Steve LeDeau.