I was disappointed by the editorial "Package ploy not fair play" (Viewpoint, AA, May 28) because consumers are getting value with our new liquid dishwashing detergent. New "Fast Acting" Dawn has been well received by consumers due to patented technologies that deliver best-in-class grease cleaning, sudsing and dissolving performance. While Advertising Age took issue with the thickness of new Dawn, this is not a concern for consumers who have tried the product. New Dawn has the same viscosity-or thickness-as the previous Dawn. The new formula is simply more lucid due to ingredient and packaging upgrades.
Package improvements, such as the new flip-top cap and slender bottle for easier gripping, are a direct response to consumer needs. These changes, coupled with unit price declines, mean that consumers get improved performance and packaging for less than a penny more per use. Bottom line, new "Fast Acting" Dawn allows consumers to clean faster and more effectively so they can move on to the important things in life.
P&G North America
Home Care, Hand Dish and Auto
`Drought' not total
I read with interest "New business paralysis sets in" (AA, July 23) and Scott Donaton's column in the same issue ("Rainmakers can't dance away current new-business drought"). As principal of Rojek Cutcher Group, a marketing consultancy that, among other services, conducts agency reviews and searches for clients, I agree that new-business activity is not happening among the mega-brand accounts as you observed. But it is quite robust in "middle markets." Agencies, hungry for new business, are looking seriously at medium to smaller size accounts that may have not met their criteria before this year's economic slowdown but represent some growth potential. As such, they are investing quite heavily in the pursuit of those relationships.
One indication of market intensity was the 150-plus agency calls we fielded when Mail Boxes Etc. hired us to manage the review for its $25 million account this spring. Equally active are "asprirational accounts," those companies that may not be household brands but aspire to apply more sophisticated marketing practices and agency resources in an effort to grow their businesses. It is a significant opportunity for them to upgrade their agency resources or hire an agency for the first time.
Lorraine S. Rojek
Rojek Cutcher Group
Biased kid ad coverage
Advertising Age has a long and worthy tradition of criticizing ad agencies when they deserve it. But increasingly it has adopted the one-sided rah-rah tone of a mere trade journal.
The June 25 issue was a notable example. Ad Age ran an article ("Miseducation bill?") on the Shel-by-Dodd student privacy amendment without any quotes or information in support of the measure or its legislative premise of shielding children from privacy invasion. The same issue contained a "Special Report" on "Teen Marketing" with six articles, and not a single note of concern or alarm about the effects of this advertising on the health and values of teen-agers.
It didn't cover the June 11 announcement that Commercial Alert, Ralph Nader, the United Me-thodist Church, Phyllis Schlafly, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, Matt Damon and many others had called on advertisers not to place ads on Prime-dia's Channel One because it compels children to watch ads during school time for products and values that many parents don't approve of. Channel One has run many full-page ads in Ad Age.
This bias is a pattern in its coverage of advertising to children. For example, Ad Age failed to cover letters to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, urging them to restore the Federal Trade Com-mission's ability to enact rules against advertisers that take advantage of the vulnerable and trusting natures of children (even though the letters were signed by many public interest groups). This slanted coverage is not what Ad Age has been or what it should be.
* In the ranking of Canadian agencies in the table "Top agencies in 124 countries" (Agency Report, April 23, P. s-12), Ammirati Puris, Toronto, should not have been given a separate listing because it was already included in the MacLaren McCann Canada total of $82.2 million in gross income. That cross-network relationship began when Ammirati Puris Lintas, the network for Labatt in Canada, and Lowe Group, the Heineken agency, were merged by Interpublic Group of Cos. to form Lowe Lintas & Part-ners Worldwide. The solution for the account conflict was for Am-mirati Puris to keep Labatt and report through McCann-Erickson Worldwide, also a Labatt agency.
* In the table "Top 25 multicultural shops" (Agency Report, April 23, P. S-22), Leo Burnett USA's Hispanic unit, Lapiz, should have been shown with gross income of $9 million, up 50.2%, on billings of $81.8 million. Burnett reported the wrong numbers.