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For about four years I had the pleasure of calling Wieden & Kennedy "my agency." I was the director of advertising at ESPN at the time.

While it was gratifying to see SportsCenter get mentioned in Bob Garfield's recent AdReview column ("Nike and Wieden once again hit perfect pitch with `Futbol,"' AA, Aug. 18), the real reason I wanted to write was to say thanks for what I feel is a long overdue tribute-from anyone-to the greatness of Wieden & Kennedy.

It seems almost laughable that Wieden suffers from a lack of respect. But I would like to modestly propose that they do. I risk hyperbole in saying it, but Wieden's Nike work over the last 20 years is a modern-day miracle.

From what I could gather at the time, the boys in Beaverton were not especially thrilled about Wieden taking on ESPN. How could Wieden effectively service not one but two global sports brands?

The answer is "brilliantly."

I still love ESPN's advertising to death, but it is the Nike work that causes my jaw to drop the most. Its consistency is what is stunning.

I remember feeling slightly peeved at the big reaction to Reebok's Terry Tate in the Super Bowl. Cute ad, no doubt, but when people started talking about how Reebok was gaining ground on Nike, it really pissed me off. I remember thinking, "OK, give `em Terry Tate. Only 4,324 more spots like that and they'll be in Nike's area code."

I cannot adequately explain why Wieden has continued to turn out such brilliant work on Nike (and ESPN) for so long. But I know it starts with Dan [Wieden]. He is a damn fine human being. I can say that. He is passionate for great ideas. And he wants the best for his people.

Sometime probably not too far off, Dan Wieden is going to get some award recognizing his amazing career. And as people pick at their plate of mediocre food, the person introducing Dan will cue a reel. If I'm there, in that freezing Sheraton ballroom, I hope they just let it roll. Let it go for an hour, 90 minutes. It doesn't matter.

There are dozens of great advertising agencies in America and I've had the great luck to get to work with several of them.

But Wieden & Kennedy is the best ad agency in the world. And has been for some time.

Allan Broce

Venice, Calif.

Rothenberg rapped for creativity `rant'

I read with interest Randall Rothenberg's column "Eight basic steps to reform today's creative department" (Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 4). That is until I arrived at his first point:

"Stop hiring creatives from advertising schools."

Waddaya mean?

I find it truly ironic that this man rants against the homeostasis of creativity yet uses the cliche "outside the box."

Our teachers are from numerous facets of the advertising industry. Yes, that means those people teaching us insipid creative practices are the ones that are doing it in the real world. I guess it's just our bad luck we haven't grown up during the "Creative Revolution" to really know what "good" creativity is all about.

And I assume that when a professional ends up with an uninspired campaign, it's just all good to blame the client, right? Because those professionals in the industry, by golly, can't be the reason why advertising could be bad, could it?

If everyone in the industry was an expert, we wouldn't have campaigns like "The Caddy that zigs!" [for Cadillac's Catera in 1996]. Where was the foresight when that campaign was being created?

Oh yeah, they were busy teaching students like myself how to make bad advertising.

Diego Rosenberg

Miami Ad School

San Francisco

`Queer Eye' has bad product placements, too

NBC's "Restaurant" must think viewers are bigger dolts than the patrons of Rocco's, who dole out big bucks for "Mama's Meatballs" (`"Restaurant' serves up lesson in how not to integrate brands," Viewpoint, AA, Aug. 11).

The product placements for Coors beer in that show are blatant and obnoxious. In a recent episode, there were three of them: cases of beer being loaded into the basement, happy Coors drinkers at the bar and one of the waiters falling in the kitchen carrying a load of beers.

But Bravo's "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy," while a fun show, is no less to blame.

Viewers may be surprised to see the TV commercials for Amaretto Disaronno, but the Fab Five's use of the liqueur in their prescriptive make-overs of their befuddled victim were too much.

As Mr. Straight poured huge brandy snifters of the booze for his girlfriend, one of the "FF" noted Mr. Straight was downing shots of it "to build his courage."

Please! If product placements like these are the TV networks' answer to commercial zapping, I predict viewers will have to zap these program-length commercials to avoid the incessant plugs!

It's back to HBO for me. At least pay-TV doesn't end up whoring its programming.

Jim Cameron


Cameron Communications

Darien, Conn.


* In "The AdMarket" (Aug. 18, P. 8), the percentage stock price change for Digitas was wrongly reported as +4.81%. It was +6.49%.

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