I agree with Rance Crain's column "Amid all this courting, a query: Why the rush by Y&R to wed?" Viewpoint, AA, May 8). Unfortunately, what was feared by many subsequently came to be. It is indeed strange to see three such venerable agencies as part of a financial conglomerate.
I spent the first nine years of my career in advertising at J. Walter Thompson and, though I had left well before the hostile takeover by Martin Sorrell, I lamented the circumstance under which JWT lost its independence. The main cause of my concern was the demise of a unique culture. I think it hurt JWT. I think it does not bode well for Y&R.
Senior VP-Director of Business-to-Business Operations
Earle Palmer Brown
Rothenberg is right on target
No doubt Randall Rothenberg has received other accolades for his column "What makes sense, and doesn't, or how to resist Internet's song" (Viewpoint, AA, May 8).
He made a couple of observations about e-commerce and about how branding works that fall into "the emperor's new clothes" category; i.e., people have probably thought about these viewpoints. However, they've been wary of expressing them for fear of peer disapproval or of being perceived wrongly.
His e-commerce observation validates the potential of Web sites whose revenue is generated by means other than selling tangible goods for shipment. As Amazon.
com is no doubt realizing, complicated high volume ordering and fulfillment get pretty daunting.
Randall Rothenberg's "What makes sense, and doesn't, or how to resist Internet's song," on the Siren call of the Internet, was dead on and very astute. For too long dot-coms have been immune from conventional analysis and logical thinking.
The Internet revolutionaries, like all revolutionaries, posed an apocalyptic choice: The only thing that counted was to be Web-savvy. If one was wired, nothing else mattered; if one was tired, nothing could save you. Even those who were knowledgeable about things digital were to be scorned if they expressed any doubts. At the extreme, such doubts were seen as evidence that one "just didn't get it."
A college roommate had a Maoist poster that read "revolutionaries are revolutionaries and must be supported; revisionists are revisionists and must be opposed." Too much of that closed-circle logic is in evidence with our digerati.
This Rose not a rose
Loved Randall Rothenberg's column about the Rose Center ("NYC's new space center offers some earthly lessons on design" (Viewpoint, AA, March 20). He really nailed it.
I took my parents to the Rose Center when they were in from London. Much anticipation attended our visit, and certainly the walk up to the building was spectacular. Unfortunately, it also proved to be the highlight of the afternoon. Jodie Foster's 30-second review of the Big Bang was lack-luster; we couldn't make head or tail of the light-blob photographs on the circular walkway (and neither could anyone else, judging from the confused faces I saw around me); and we were completely bewildered by the odd collection of space-related objects on the ground floor.
The whole experience made me sad. Who's the audience for this? A bunch of clever, dull scientists seem to have crafted an exhibit for other clever, dull scientists. Shouldn't a place like this be educational? And fun? The powers-that-be have succeeded in making the universe boring. How could this happen?
Alpert Executive Search
* In "AT&T puts $250 mil bet on Net" (May 22, P. 1), telecommunications industry analyst Jeff Kagen was misidentified as Paul Kagan.
* In the table "Top 10 Web sites for Generation Y at home" (Net-Results, May 22, P. 72), the text should have noted the rankings were based on sites with the highest percentage of Gen Y audience. A corrected table appears on Page 53 of this issue.