As publisher of one of the magazine's honored in Ad Age's Special Report "Best Magazines" (AA, March 13), I felt obliged to answer Ali Ghanbarian (" `Best' magazines?," Letters to the Editor, May 1.)
To his first point, that some magazines "give away hundreds of ad pages to impress people who don't do their homework," let me be clear. Speaking on behalf of our magazine, we are not in the business of "giving away free pages."
Our belief is that if you have a valuable editorial product that reaches a quality audience, and if you set your advertising pricing fairly to reach that audience, there is no need to provide free pages. As a division of Time Inc., I would add that our corporation, which prides itself on producing the best magazines in the industry, and the most profitable, would never stand for one of its publications to be giving away page after page of free space.
To the second point, which implied that unless you advertise in Ad Age, you would not be considered for such recognition, the case is pretty clear. We have never had a trade advertising campaign budget (unfortunately) for This Old House; thus, Ad Age has never benefited from an ad investment from us.
We think Ad Age did indeed do its homework, selected five quality publications, and for that we are grateful.
Thomas M. Ott
This Old House
I found "It's not trendy being green" (AA, April 10), about green marketing, interesting but inaccurate when it came to the battery category. I can only speak for Energizer when I tell you our commitment to the environment is strong and constant.
In the late 1980s, Energizer Battery Co. led the industry in removing added mercury from its batteries. All those advancements were rolled into our flagship brand, Energizer, in the early '90s. We felt it was much more important to manufacture all our batteries to the highest environmental standards than to create a niche environmental brand.
This environmental concern extends to our packaging, which is manufactured using 100% recycled paperboard.
Regarding rechargeables, Energizer introduced a new line of rechargeable batteries last spring called Energizer ACCU Rechargeable Batteries. These nickle metal hydride batteries are safer for the environment than traditional rechargeable batteries and provide extremely long life. Energizer ACCU can be recharged 1,000 times compared to only 25 charges for reusable alkaline. One Energizer ACCU rechargeable AA battery replaces 35 reusable alkaline batteries.
Ad Age is correct that the battery category is exciting and dynamic. I can promise you will see a lot of exciting things coming from Energizer.
Mark A. Larsen
Senior Brand Manager
Energizer Battery Co.
Impact of Mary Wells
Thank you for Rance Crain's column, "Mary Wells' big day reminds us advertising's changed for worse" (Viewpoint, AA, March 27) . . .
I remember thinking at that time that anyone in the advertising business visiting [her agency's] offices would know, just from the way they felt, that fine advertising would be pouring out of there -- not just occasionally, but in a steady stream.
It was like looking into someone's soul; it made how Mary Wells felt and feels about the business touchable. You could see it and smell it the moment the elevator doors opened. Whether or not you smoked Benson & Hedges.
* In "StarMedia fires up image" (April 24, P. 60), True North Communications' Siboney USA, New York, handles media buying in the U.S. and McCann-Erickson Worldwide handles media buying in Latin America.
* In "Compliance deadline looms for kids' sites" (April 17, P. 54), it was reported that MaMaMedia (www.mamamedia.com) gets par-ental consent via phone or fax. MaMaMedia said the types of activities and content offered on the site do not require parental consent via phone or fax because it doesn't collect personal information from users and doesn't allow for unfiltered person-to-person contact. Instead it notifies parents by e-mail.