I appreciated reading the Special Report on Media Mavens (AA, Sept. 18). I was particularly interested in Page M22, where you [profiled] George Hayes, chief operating officer of Local Communications Inc. The article referred to LCI as being launched in 1996 by George Hayes. While George is a great guy and worked for me at McCann for several years when I was media director, he was not the founder of LCI.
Local Communications Inc. was formed in 1978 to provide local market expertise to all our clients both in media and local promotions. It was founded by me; I was its first president; Bob Turner and George Dallas were its first VPs. I still have the T-shirt from our first "LCI Funday" to prove it. All the best to George; I'm sure he'll do well, though.
Online bridal leaders
The article "Online bridal arena heats up" (AA, Aug. 21) states in the opening paragraph that Conde Nast Publications is trying "to play catch-up in the online bridal arena" by partnering with "the category's biggest site based on audience" [WeddingChannel.com]. I wanted to clarify [the story], which relied solely upon U.S. Web traffic as measured by Media Metrix.
The Knot, which pioneered the online wedding category in 1996, has been considered the largest online bridal resource since its inception. Due to our exclusive content partnership with America Online, which makes us the sole provider of wedding content across AOL's services, our unique visitor traffic far exceeds that of our competitors. In fact, according to Media Metrix, The Knot received 992,000 unique visitors during the month of June to our Web site and AOL area, 50% greater than the combined traffic of WeddingChannel.com, Weddings.com, and Della.com . . .
By creating a uniquely fresh voice and a comprehensive array of services, The Knot has attracted its own very large and loyal following of users -- not those borrowed from a magazine partner or a retailer.
CEO, The Knot.
Unfunny Coke ads
Bob Garfield is absolutely right about the unfunny new Coke campaign ("Coke and Freeman take risk with ironic new ad approach," Ad Review, AA, Aug. 21). I've only seen two of the spots, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to see any more.
John M. Donovan
Creswell, Munsell, Fultz & Zirbel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The new Coca-Cola campaign from Cliff Freeman & Partners . . . is awful. It's bitter, angry, shallow, unfunny, insulting and alienating.
Given how often Coke is cited as having perhaps the world's most valuable brand, it's incredible that Freeman and Coca-Cola Co. would produce and run a campaign that is so utterly out of keeping with Coke's image. (For example, contrast this campaign with Coke's current Olympic effort.)
As if Coca-Cola hasn't had enough trouble over the past year or so -- and now this.
David D. Hovde
Senior Customer Consultant
Wholesale Energy Services
Wisconsin Public Service Corp.
Green Bay, Wis.
Truth in pol ads
Randall Rothenberg treads very dangerous ground when he attempts to characterize any one political party as better or worse than the other when it comes to truth in advertising ("Convention reveals Republicans don't ken `truth in advertising' ", Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 14) . . .
The rules of truth in advertising don't seem to apply in the world of politics. Most of us learned that very early. And we can generally tell who the liars are. Does anyone, even his fellow Democrats, question whether one of the greatest liars of all time is in the White House?
Mr. Rothenberg was way off base to slander the Republicans with this label. A good case can be made that the charge is a better fit for the Democrats.
Thomas E. Eppes
Fast branding perils
A coworker photocopied Randall Rothenberg's column on "fast branding" so I could read it ("Still hooked on `fast branding'? Ponder the lessons of Boo.com," Viewpoint, AA, May 29). I thought it was very well written, and I believe wholeheartedly in its message.
I work for a skateboard magazine (you know, boring old paper), and we've watched e-commerce companies turn our little industry upside down over the course of the last year. Web sites with reported "deep pockets" have bought a lot of talent and attention, and I'm interested to see how they'll fare. Though I'd guess not much better than Boo.com. Too bad.
In "Economic gold rush spurs rash of jewelry ad efforts" (Sept. 25, P. 16), Rebecca Foerster is VP-marketing at Keepsake, not VP-marketing at ad agency Brash, New York.