Letters to the Editor

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Priceline's claims

The Late News item "Shatner speaks up for Priceline.com" (AA, Jan. 3) reports pitchman William Shatner is featured in a new series of image commercials for Priceline.com.

The mistaken image to date is that you name your own price. Untrue. You can name any number you want but you'll get only as close as they can get to it, plus the fact that if the flight they offer has three stops that's also what you get, etc.

I have always been amazed that the unqualified claim appears to get through continuity acceptance departments at local radio stations throughout the country. Local radio stations are less careful about [requiring] supporting evidence than network (and network TV is the most careful).

Joe R. Eisaman

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Reality testing

How surprised can we be that e-commerce flunks on TV ("Many e-tailers find holiday consumer buying not so merry," AA, Jan. 10)?

These ads are totally out of touch with people who have better things to do than browse around sites that offer vague, puffed-up promises about improving life.

I'm in the marketing business, and half the time even I can't figure out what they're selling [and] to whom -- much less why.

Let's get back to reality testing, and to taking the time to craft a message that makes some sense.

Linda Fitzpatrick


Fitzpatrick Research Services Corp.

West Nyack, N.Y.

Clearly transparent

In Landmarks (AA, Dec. 20), the caption with Image of the Week states that the lightbulb is "translucent." Translucent means that light can get through but clear images can't. The lightbulb is really transparent, meaning you can see through it.

Douglas T. Dinsmoor

Advertising Manager, Webhire

Lexington, Mass.

The campus turf battle

Re: Robert Marker's concerns in Forum ("Campus turf battles hamper ad students," AA, Nov. 1). He is correct in that there are turf battles in academia which are sometimes illogical and self-serving. There are even a few communications students who would like to take a consumer behavior course in a business school and are not allowed to. But I think he is mistaken when he assumes that all advertising students should study one curriculum as a solution to the problem.

Research suggests that account management, strategic planning and research, and media students are different in personality and behavior than creative and production students. They have different methods for solving problems and setting goals. They have different levels of motivation depending on the course they are taking.

I have taught advertising classes in both business and communications colleges. I also worked in the advertising industry for many years and, no matter how ideologically correct the notion that advertising management and creative should receive the same training, they should not. In fact, I would argue that it is their differences that create the tension present in most great agencies.

And, yes, it is good for creative and managerial students to get together because that's what they'll have to do when they enter the advertising world. Fortunately, many colleges offer this opportunity by competing in the American Advertising Federation's national student competition.

Perhaps the turf battling business and communications schools should learn from advertising agencies and work together.

Chuck McMellon

Assistant Professor

Hofstra University

Hempstead, N.Y.

Carte Blanche not gone

Regarding Jack Trout's Forum article, "Being different is where it's at," (Viewpoint, AA, Nov. 22):

Mr. Trout is incorrect when he states Carte Blanche is no longer with us. I have been a card member since 1980 and just received my renewal notice this month for another two-year membership.

Granted, Carte Blanche receives little advertising and is less widely known or used on the East Coast; however, I still use the card wherever it's accepted.

Ethel T. Olcsvay

East Brunswick, N.J.

Editor's Note: Citicorp Diners Club said it no longer issues Carte Blanche cards to new members; however, existing card holders can renew their memberships

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