Many thanks for the timely coverage Advertising Age gave to Universal McCann Futures, our refocused research and development unit aimed at studying and experimenting with new digital technologies ("McCann media unit shifts mission," AA, April 10).
However, while the article itself made clear the "shift" in "mission" was confined to this individual R&D unit, the headline misleadingly suggested all of Universal McCann was somehow changing direction.
To clarify: Universal McCann is the worldwide media arm of McCann-Erickson Worldwide. Its mission -- to draw upon our unique scope, resource and heritage to be the best provider of media strategy and implementation in all media on behalf of our clients -- is not at all shifting or changing.
Universal Futures is one of a number of groups we've set up to monitor and think through the implications of many changing aspects of the media environment. This particular forward-looking R&D group has changed its mission from a more broadly undefined new-media focus to one that concentrates on converging media technology.
I had to respond to Bruce Meyers' letter regarding "The Cluetrain Manifesto" because I could not believe he so completely missed the point ("Clueless-train," Letters to the Editor, AA, March 27).
Take the individual theses literally and you end up narrowing your discussion to debating individual points.
Take the challenge of the manifesto and you open up a discussion on issues such as marketing, advertising, the Internet, the consumer, etc.
The Internet is simply a backdrop; the manifesto is a challenge to discuss and learn.
And, in reference to Rance Crain's column on Mary Wells Lawrence ("Mary Wells' big day reminds us advertising's changed for the worse," Viewpoint, AA, March 27) and others of her time and intellect, she would welcome the debate that the manifesto offers.
Finally, to suggest that the laws of the marketplace are fundamentally immutable, and that advertising is intrinsic to the survival of media, is both shortsighted and arrogant, two things that we cannot be in something as dynamic as any marketplace is.
In regard to "Dents in Disney's armor" (Special Report: Entertainment Marketing, AA, March 20), I do not profess to know the inside business of Walt Disney Co., but I feel I have a semirelevant observation -- it's simple and somewhat childlike.
I believe Disney may have let an entire generation or two slip through by having the Disney Channel as a pay option. Millions of children are growing up with more attachment to the characters and programming on free services. My children know more about Rugrats and even the Brady Bunch than most of the Disney characters and shows.
Disney may reach, but its frequency is the problem . . . at least at my house. Sometimes simple marketing solutions are sitting right in front of you.
* In "Drug names walk fine line" (April 3, P. S10), SmithKline Beecham and its antidepressant drug Paxil are handled by McCann-Erickson Consumer Health, New York, a division of McCann-Erickson Worldwide.
* In "Iomega opens $35 mil review" (Late News, March 27, P. 2), incumbent Euro RSCG DSW Partners, Salt Lake City, declined to participate in the review.
* In "Coors hikes spending on gay ads" (March 27, P. 16), Rivendell Marketing was misspelled.
* In "Snyder game plan . . . beer fear" (Adages, March 27, P. 8), Kevin Lynch was a freelancer, and not with Arian, Lowe & Travis, when he did creative work for Point beer.
* In "New York Life breaks national $38 mil push" (March 27, P. 18), the previous New York Life Insurance Co. campaign was created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York