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New wisdom needed

In response to "P&G priority: Build brands" (Viewpoint, AA, March 20), it is folly to think the same solutions that worked in the past are going to continue to work in an entirely new and different environment.

Most important, the consumer mindset toward brands and advertising has also changed. With the number of brand choices today, and mind-boggling communications clutter, efficacy against every category issue and need is a cost of entry.

As Wall Street has now become the ultimate consumer, and marketing plans are being evaluated on a quarterly basis, "traditional" advertising practices are not going to work.

The solution will be a discipline that marries advertising and promotion in a completely new and evolved way. The discipline will need to develop integrated multi-faceted marketing efforts designed to reinforce brand equity, while at the same time driving next day sales.

Where this Viewpoint misses the mark is that "old wisdom" is, in fact, old!

What packaged goods marketers need is something new.

Jonathan M. Kramer


J. Brown/LMC Group

Stamford, Conn.

E-media buying is future

Bravo for your editorial column "Media's future" (Viewpoint, AA, March 27).

Count yourself among the small but growing number of people who recognize the beginnings of a sea change that will revolutionize the way media are bought and sold.

Having been involved in automating media buying for over four years, allow me to offer some thoughts on what we might see over the next year or so.

Whatever solution the advertising industry accepts must leverage the power of inter-networked computing into each step in the process.

In practical terms, this means integrating the diverse geo/demographic data sources and interlinking them with specific media outlets. Then buyers will need to create and deliver insertion orders and avail requests with a single mouse click.

Finally, we must adopt a secure and trusted system of electronic verifications or affidavits of performance to replace tearsheets and airchecks.

Aside from the advent of cable TV and Internet banner advertising, media buying has remained virtually unchanged for the last 40 years.

I predict that in four years almost nothing of the current system will remain. And we won't miss it at all.

Peter Anderson



Norwalk, Conn.

The genius of Bob Gage

Properly admired as "an absolute genius" by his Doyle Dane Bernbach associates and others, pioneering art director Bob Gage, who died April 4 at the age of 78 (Late News, AA, April 10), certainly deserved his high ranking on Ad Age's "Top 100 Advertising People" of the 20th century (AA special issue "The Advertising Century," March, 1999).

Quiet and unassuming to a fault, he was content to make his presence felt through his work. Gage's refreshing and compelling ads retain their warmth and sparkle to this day, and will play a prominent role in any display of American advertising's greatest creative work. That's why Bob was, and is, so widely admired and respected by his peers. One never, ever heard anything but admiration and respect for this most modest man and his achievements.

Advertising's 20th century legacy would be considerably more brittle without Bob Gage's contributions.

Fred Danzig

Eastchester, N.Y.

Mr. Danzig, former editor of Advertising Age, was the author of the article "Top 100 Advertising People."


* In "Global Kleenex effort breaks K-C boundaries" (April 10, P. 3), the new Kleenex campaign replaces the "Share the love, not the germs campaign" from J. Walter Thompson USA, New York. The campaign is the first trans-Atlantic effort from the agency but the second JWT campaign to run in North America since JWT took over the account from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, last year.

* In "Sony's $20 mil direct push offers digital imaging info" (April 10, P. 3), Margaret Clerkin's name was misspelled

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