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A $2 million budget caught my eye. A new review, perhaps? No, just the budget for Wieden & Kennedy's latest Nike/Pytka extravaganza (AA, July 4).

As a creative, I'm an immense W&K fan. So I direct this to the guilty industry at large: The Advertising Emperor is Buck Naked. What about the client's best interests? Do we care about efficiency-or just about cover stories...?

The Nike work, as a whole, is of course brilliant. But that $2 million spot ["The Wall"] is not four times as memorable as its $500,000 predecessors. Think back to the McEnroe/Agassi/"50s" instructor spot of years back. That ad would have won just as many awards had it been produced for $150,000 (if not shot on 8mm by my nephew). The big idea used to be the idea, not the budget.

Nike has flourished as a result of its advertising. Still, I wonder: Who says No? How do you present a $2 million estimate in good faith without blinking? Surely, great ads can be had for less, as W&K and Aetna have also established. Did the client insist on $2 mil? I think not.

Give me creative freedom and a tight budget any day.

Tom Geary

Tom Geary & Associates

San Francisco

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