Rance Crain's reasoning in "Our own publication `Creativity' wrong in dissing anti-drug ads" (Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 14) is off. The young people he says he wants to protect are not using at a lower rate when these ads are run. The very youngest categories of children are using the hard drugs he says he focuses on at higher-than-ever rates while adult use declines. He says drug use declines, but not that it is adult drug use that declines! . . .
As a concerned mother, I urge him to end his support of these ads, some of which unnecessarily expose children to drug use possibilities they may not have been aware of. The ad showing kids how to use paint products for "huffing" is certainly an example of something I would not choose to show to children.
For the advertising industry to run these ads even in light of the considerations above is truly mercenary and hucksteristic, in addition to being "naive dupes."
Saluting PSA work
I share Rance Crain's view that the Advertising Council (and local public service efforts of countless ad clubs throughout the country), the National Advertising Review Council and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America are the ad industry's "best foot forward" ("Our own publication `Creativity' wrong in dissing anti-drug ads," Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 14).
Regrettably, not enough is done to promote these positive contributions to society. Hopefully, new funding for NARC will provide for great visibility for a system that benefits a public largely unaware of its existence.
Randall Rothenberg's column on the same page ("Convention reveals Republicans don't ken `truth in advertising' ") addressed the abandonment of truth in advertising in political campaigns, which he laments. Politicians, many of whom criticize commercial ads, were never required to substantiate their claims, which reflects adversely on all advertising. And they consistently reject all suggestions they clean up their act!
Randall's suggestion the advertising industry was made "reasonably honest" by public revulsion and government regulation overlooks the industry-initiated NARC program of self-regulation adopted in 1971, which deserves the praise noted by Rance (and every Federal Trade Commission chairman since its inception).
With renewed industry support and leadership, a revitalized NARC program can surely meet the challenges of the rapidly changing advertising landscape.
American Advertising Federation
Goldberg missed irony
In response to the letter by Fred Goldberg [chairman, GMO/Hill Holliday, San Francisco] ("Bad advertising," Letters to the Editor, AA, Aug. 21), panning our recent campaign introducing Noah's delicatessen lunch items:
Perhaps immodestly, I'd suggest one could look at our campaign, which depicts a range of people who generally would not be considered Jews (an African-American couple, an Asian couple, a waspy-looking couple, etc.) inspired to speak Yiddish by Noah's deli items, as a contemporary evolution of the classic DDB campaign for Levy's Rye Bread.
Perhaps Fred didn't get the irony of the campaign. Which is surprising when you consider the irony associated with so many of Fred's own writings. Like the widely circulated one to his staff insisting that a San Francisco Chronicle story about Hill Holliday taking over GMO was untrue. One need only look at the signage on their new agency headquarters to understand the irony there.
Fred, many thanks again for the years of entertainment.
Butler, Shine & Stern
* In "Travelocity.com is launching magazine" (P. 32, Aug. 28), Expedia Travels will be published by Ziff Davis Media, New York, not Expedia. Expedia Travels is an independent publication published by ZD under a licensing agreement; it will be jointly marketed by ZD and Expedia.
* Due to incorrect information supplied by the photographer, the caption to the photo accompanying "The powers that be: VC's new marching orders" (P. S-24, Aug. 7) misidentified Joanna Rees Gallanter, founder and managing partner, Venture Strategy Partners, and Felicia Lindau, founder and chairman of Sparks.com. Ms. Rees Gallanter is on the left, Ms. Lindau on the right.