LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Published on .

I can only imagine Bob Garfield was being intentionally obtuse in his panning of the Sony PlayStation 2 "Rebirth" ad that won the Print Grand Prix award at Cannes ("Cannes top honors go to good (not great) and gross in TV, print," AdReview, AA, June 23).

He surmises that the "implication" of the ad, which shows a woman giving birth to an adult male, is "adult vaginal birth is cool" and/or "The young man is so desperate to have his head [between a woman's legs], he's come from the wrong direction." Granted, I've been out of the ad industry for a few years, but to me the message is simply this: "Playing the PS2 makes you feel like a grown kid."

Then again, I'm sure Freud, too, would have viewed the ad differently.

Matt Webb Mitovich

Englewood, N.J.

Client ad managers must be smarter, too

Rance Crain may be right about agencies not learning their clients' businesses ("Agencies fall short at selling where it counts: to clients," Viewpoint, AA, May 5) but all the fault may not be with the agency. An embarrassing little truth about the business is that client-side ad managers, who control the relationship, may not understand their companies' engines of profitability all that well, either. Many were trained as communicators, not business people. They're more likely to have degrees in English or journalism or advertising than business degrees. And in many companies, they are perceived as producers of stuff, not strategic business analysts. "Do me an ad," they're directed. "Make me a brochure"

That perception is one of the most important reasons why the function gets marginalized. Ad managers need to make the effort to understand what factors affect their companies' earnings, too, so they understand what advertising's real role is-changing behavior, not just "getting the word out" about some product or service.

Robert F. Lauterborn

Knight Prof. of Advertising

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Addenda and corrections to `AA' `03 Agency Report

The following amplifications and corrections concern data reported in the 59th annual Agency Report (AA, April 21), and the 16th annual Integrated Agencies report (AA, May 19). Where a change affected an agency's ranking, Ad Age has made those changes to the tables that appear on AdAge.com QwikFIND aao60o

* In the table "Top 25 U.S. agency brands by core advertising revenue" (April 21, P. S-4), Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide should have ranked No. 6 at $235.5 million in revenue, down 1.9%, the result of combining results from Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, Euro RSCG Tatham Partners and Euro RSCG Black Rocket.

In the table as published, Euro RSCG MVBMS was listed separately and ranked No. 11; Euro RSCG Tatham Partners and Euro RSCG Black Rocket were ranked elsewhere at Nos. 28 and 222, respectively.

* In the table "U.S. agency brands ranked 26 to 132" (April 21, P. S-6), Fahlgren, Columbus, Ohio, was inadvertently left off the list. It should have ranked No. 93 on the table based on $17.4 million in revenue, up 8.5%.

Also in that table, CreativeOnDemand, Coral Gables, Fla., was incorrectly ranked No. 104 because the $15 million listed as its revenue was actually its capitalized billings. Its estimated revenue was $1.7 million for 2002, up 49%, an amount too low to have been ranked in this table. Separately, Creative-OnDemand was ranked No. 3 among Hispanic agencies listed in the table "Top cultural specialist agencies"(April 21, P. S-12). At its corrected estimated revenue of $1.7 million in 2002, it would not have been ranked in this table.

* In the table "U.S. agency brands ranked 134 to 285" (April 21, P. S-8), LatinWorks Marketing, Austin, Texas, was inadvertently left off the list. It should have ranked No. 255 on the table based on $5.56 million in revenue, up 35.4%.

* In the table "U.S. agency brands ranked 286 to 407" (April 21, P. S-10), Macy Advertising, Lancaster, Pa., was ranked No. 359 based on $2.72 million in reported revenue. Macy later revised its revenue total to $1.09 million, an amount too low to have been ranked in this table.

* In the U.S. portion of the tables listed under "World's top media specialist cos." (April 21, P. S-12), the published rankings for Carat North America (No. 9) and Media-Com (No. 8) were transposed. Carat should have been No. 8 and MediaCom No. 9. The billings published in the table for the two agencies were correct.

* In the table "World's top 10 core agency brands" (April 21, P. S-13), Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide should have ranked No. 5 for 2002. It was unranked in the table as published. The network had an estimated $976 million in worldwide revenue, down 9.5% from 2001, based on the revenue stream from the core advertising components of Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, Euro RSCG Tatham Partners and Euro RSCG Black Rocket, all U.S. units, and the estimated revenue of its international network.

* In the table "Agencies outside the U.S. by country" (Adage.com QwikFIND aao62p), an incorrect 2002 gross income figure was initially posted for Mudra Communications, Ahmedabad, India. The agency had 2002 gross income of $24.1 million, up 1% over the prior year. The figure has been corrected online.

* In the table "Top 50 integrated agencies by discipline/interactive agencies" (May 19, P. S-4), Ripple Effects Interactive, Pittsburgh, should have been ranked No. 46 with revenue of $5.4 million, up 0.8%. The agency was omitted because the revenue figure it initially reported to Ad Age was incorrect.

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