I agree with Rance Crain's main point in his column "Selling idea of freedom is most important assignment for Beers" (Viewpoint, AA, Nov. 5). Charlotte Beers is the perfect choice for the job of undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Mr. Crain succeeds in conveying the enormous challenge Ms. Beers faces, and he gives insight to the Advertising Council campaign's theme of freedom.
All well and good. What I have a problem with is the phrase "the job of convincing people around the world that our way of life is best. ..."
Admittedly, we Americans enjoy great advantages that many others on the planet don't. But our way of life is simply a way of life-no ifs, ands or bests about it. We consume far more than our fair share of the world's resources to support that way of life. Include me as one of those who would like to see Ms. Beers add a pinch of humility to our nation's message. It might do wonders around the world.
Deerfield Beach, Fla.
No laughing matter
The article "2002: An entirely make-believe year in review" (Special Report, AA, Nov. 5) left me cold.
I hardly chuckled because all of the things about which it wrote have a trickle down effect that concerns everyone in this business. When the big guys start to pull in, everyone withdraws.
I have worked in the industry for over 25 years and have never seen my business so bad. I also should add that as the agencies lay people off there are more people out there looking for the same work some of us already have. It is worse than when accounts jump from agency to agency because everyone has a wait-and-see attitude. The first to go budget-wise is marketing and advertising.
I still believe it is prudent to keep your name in front of the public, especially in times like these. If you want to write about the industry, look at the people who are laid off, how they expect to support their families until things improve, and how the smaller amount of work is going to be redistributed to those who are unemployed and working freelance.
If business and industry is in trouble, then so are we. It's tough out here. Addressing the real industry problems and providing solutions seems far more important than putting tongue in cheek.
Paul Bernheimer Design
Rance Crain wasn't wrong in his column "Agencies' narrow definition of `creative' stunts integration" (Viewpoint, AA, June 18). But agencies' narrow definition of integration is at least as important a limiting factor. As a co-author of the seminal 1993 book on the subject, "Integrated Marketing Communication," I've been dismayed that even some agencies that call themselves IMC agencies perceive integration only as a tactical tool.
Many clients, too, miss the point that the real value of integration is strategic. IMC is not about making all the marketing communication elements look alike and say the same thing; it's about having specific, measurable behavioral objectives and selecting and managing various marketing communication elements to achieve those objectives efficiently and effectively. It's not about arranging the pieces, it's a-bout managing the process. IMC is a 180-degree different way of looking at a business: customer-in rath-er than company-out. Or, as my co-author Don Schultz puts it, it's about managing the outcomes rath-er than the outputs.
Robert F. Lauterborn
James L. Knight Prof. of Advertising
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Good products sell
The article on Oxi Clean [laundry additive] ("Oxi Clean rides direct to the top," AA, July 30) actually left me dumbfounded. I have been in marketing and market research for more than 20 years now, and it seems we have totally lost sight of the obvious. Some products succeed in the marketplace because they are actually significantly better than the rest. I discovered Oxi Clean as a result of its truly compelling infomercial, but I've been buying it since and telling all my friends about it because it is an amazing product. This minor fact was barely mentioned in the article, which leaves me wondering why this didn't seem to even factor in the analysis of why the product's growth has been so enormous.
Renee H. Frengut
Boca Raton, Fla.
* In "Behind the miracle" (Nov. 26, P. 6), incorrect titles were given for three BBDO Worldwide executives. The correct titles are: Michael Patti, vice chairman-senior executive creative director, BBDO Worldwide, New York; Ted Sann, vice chairman-chief creative officer, BBDO North America; and John Osborn, director of integrated marketing, BBDO North America.
* In the table "Top newspapers by circulation" (Nov. 5, P. 45), the Baltimore Sun was left out. The Sun should have been ranked No. 29 among U.S. dailies with average daily circulation of 292,034 for six months ended Sept. 31. See revised chart:
AdAge.com QwikFIND AAM82X.