LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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NARC deserves support

Thank you for the editorial strongly endorsing the importance of funding the ad industry's self-regulatory efforts, and supporting the National Advertising Review Council proposal to charge fees for filing challenges with the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Na-tional Advertising Div-ision ("$ for NARC," Viewpoint, AA, Nov. 5). Members of the industry too often "assume" that self regulation has always been there, will always be there, and that someone out there is paying for it.

The annual budget needed to run self-regulation is small. In fact, if the dollars needed to run self-regulation were client billings "switching" from one agency to another, the total dollars needed to support the entire annual industry self-regulation "budget" would not even make a footnote in Ad Age. Despite the meager amount needed annually, more industry support is appropriate and necessary.

A portion of all national Coun-cil of Better Business Bureaus dues is used to support advertising self-regulation. However, all members of the advertising industry do not belong to the CBBB. Accordingly, it is good to underline that, because all industry stakeholders (advertisers, agencies, and the media) benefit from advertising self-regulation, it is time that all stakeholders also help support the effort financially-either through CBBB membership or directly.

Effective self-regulation helps an advertiser maintain consumer trust and enhances advertisers' reputation with regulators. "Trust" and "reputation" are essential for strong advertiser branding. Self-regulation makes good business sense.

The proposed filing fees will help to better spread the cost of industry self-regulation through the entire advertising industry. They will not "pay for" self-regulation. Advertisers, agencies and media need to support the industry's trusted and proven system. The editorial helps to send this important message to the advertising industry. As chair of the National Advertising Review Council, I applaud your endorsement.

Carla R. Michelotti

Chair

National Advertising

Review Council

New York

Editor's note: Ms. Michelotti is exec VP-general counsel global operations, Bcom3 Group, Chicago.

Coupons in new economy

I read with interest "Coupons get clipped" (AA, Nov. 5). It is way too early to know how coupons will fare in the new economy because planning cycles are so long. Most manufactures and retailers are living with the programs they locked into in early 2001. Relatively few are set up to design and roll out coupon programs in a quick response to a slowing economy.

The criticisms leveled against coupons overlook that the little vouchers, say what you will about them, trigger transactions. Moti- vating shoppers to choose a brand is the name of the game at retail and coupons will always be a great way to make that happen.

That doesn't mean a brand's image or equity will, by definition, erode in the process. The key is to make sure a coupon program is fully integrated with other marketing activities. A coupon with a free sample adds value to the shopping trip. So does a coupon with a recipe, as do coupons integrated with special in-store events, such as scavenger hunts, for example.

Coupons are not just about cents-off. Retailers and manufacturers who think differently about the possibilities are sure to find today's climate a little less chilly.

Ted Bohnen

Chief Marketing Officer

Promo Edge Marketing Services

Elk Grove, Ill.

No `panic' in NYC

I was truly dismayed to read in Stefano Hatfield's "Life of U.S. multinationals must go on despite obstacles" (Viewpoint, AA, Sept. 17) his observation that "The bomb scares [in London] elicit resignation rather than the mass panic we have seen in Manhattan." ... In fact, it was just the opposite, as thousands of terrified people vacated the inferno of the World Trade Center towers in a reasonably orderly fashion, some descending over 100 flights.

Ramona Bechtos

Ramona Bechtos International

New York

Corrections

* In "Coke delays contested shift of brands to FCB" (Late News, Nov. 12), Wieden & Ken-nedy will continue to handle Euro-pean advertising for Coca-Cola Co.'s Aquarius sports drink. The brand had been set to shift to Inter-public Group of Cos. Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide.

* In "Modernista picks up glo-bal Avon account" (Nov. 12, P. 22), Modernista won the next phase of print work for Avon Products' "Let's Talk" campaign, not Avon's global creative account, as reported, which is handled in-house. Avon says production house Anita Madeira Inc., New York, serves as a creative resource.

* In the table "Media Talk," with the story "Mandel again leads parade" (Special Report: Media Mavens, Oct. 1, P. S-17), Stacey Lynn Koerner should have been listed among top media executives in a MediaTalk survey. Ms. Koerner, director of broadcast research at Initiative Media, actually ranked No. 2, with a score of 197. Also, Steve Sternberg is senior VP-director of audience analysis at Magna Global USA, not TN Media as listed.

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