Hooray for accountability. Randall Rothenberg couldn't have been more on the mark in his column "Ad agencies must join accountability revolution" (View-point, AA, Nov. 5).
While there is cause for concern about impediments to accountability posed by bureaucratic issues, there's reason for hope. Interpublic Group of Cos. recently established an in-store marketing division. Tracy Locke Partners and Publicis have devoted strategic resources to retail, the place where 70% of all brand purchase decisions are made. Thus, these companies are of greater value to clients as they usher brand communications at retail; this serves as the last three feet of any integrated marketing campaign.
Measurement is also achievable. Unlike other forms of advertising, in-store advertising can conclusively demonstrate its impact on sales, as well as-for the first time-its cost effectiveness. By virtue of new research undertaken by Point-of-Purchase Advertising In-ternational, with the Advertising Research Foundation, agencies and clients can both plan and evaluate in-store advertising with the same discipline afforded by print and broadcast media. Addition-ally, in-store advertising can conclusively demonstrate its impact on sales. And, in the near future, we plan to offer cost-effective, industry-wide proof of placement for in-store advertising.
For agencies to deliver on the promise of accountability, they need to strategically coordinate their clients' communications at retail. As Rothenberg's view of the future so aptly pointed out: It's what's in store.
Point-of-Purchase Advertising International
How to sell freedom
Re: Rance Crain's column "Selling idea of freedom is most important assignment for Beers" (Viewpoint, AA, Nov. 5): If the United States is serious about a long-term assault on terrorism, there needs to be deeper mobilization on the communications front. Since over the long run ideas can be more potent than weapons, a coordinated PR-based communications program reaching both domestic and international audiences is crucial.
Neither the Advertising Coun-cil's recently announced public service campaign nor Charlotte Beers' idea to buy ads on Al-Jazerra will suffice. In this case, advertising is not the tactic that will generate credibility. (After all, in any medium, which do you focus on more: the content or the ads?)
A truly comprehensive strategic PR-based campaign must also be developed. Advertising as a medium does not generate third-party editorial credibility, especially if we are trying to reach people in different nations and cultures. Thus, the U.S. should look to World War I's U.S. Committee on Public Information as a model. Created by President Woodrow Wilson, its mission was to communicate wartime objectives and safety messages domestically while publicizing American war goals overseas. A similar effort-the Of-fice of War Information-was implemented during World War II. Both functioned well enough within the structure of a democratic society and the First Amend-ment. Resurrecting the recently eviscerated U.S. Information Agency could be a place to start.
Lloyd P. Trufelman
Business is good
Business is good-if you're willing to make the calls. We've all heard about budgets being cut and layoffs on both the client and agency side. We are small and in the growing stages. Even in this sluggish economy, we have doubled our client roster along with our gross revenues. We have been hiring and are constantly pitching new business. How?
Part of our success is due to our approach to new business, which almost always begins with a cold call. We make hundreds of them each week. We've even recruited a bank of telemarketers to help us seek out those companies we want to work with, and vice versa.
And while our cold-calling campaign has helped produce pros-pects, our aggressive style of creative, fair pricing and shared vision with our clients has helped us land and retain business. ... So there is hope out there along with plenty of opportunity.
* In "Bcom3's fast food fellowship" (Nov. 19, P. 1), Kaplan Thaler Group was acquired in 1999 by MacManus Group, the holding company for D'Arcy Masius Ben-ton & Bowles, and not by D'Arcy.
* In "Yahoo! goes for old school marketing" (Nov. 19, P. 33), it was incorrectly reported that Yahoo! dropped an estimated 150 salespeople. Yahoo! said its sales staff numbered about 150. It declined to say how many were dropped.
* In "P&G reins in its domains" (Oct. 29, P. 32), the Ask Iris section of Procter & Gamble Co.'s BeingGirl.com site gets 110,000 to 115,000 e-mail queries a year, not the 30,000 a week reported, though more girls visit the feature than submit questions. Answerthink, Dallas, developed Ask Iris and BeingGirl; Bolt.com has developed and run a BeingGirl section of its site linked to the P&G site.