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Rance Crain is absolutely correct when he writes in his column that "our country cannot function on all cylinders" without making sure that everyone is afforded a good public education and the opportunity for a good job ("Saving our schools our highest priority," AA, June 20). But ... the responsibility lies on the shoulders of all of us-parents, teachers, administrators, local businesses.

I realize that many businesses are providing education programs for their employees to give them skills and additional training that they may lack from public education. They should be commended. ... However, I don't fully agree with the statement in Mr. Crain's column that "this is an unfair burden to place on businesses which are already paying high taxes to support public education."

I live in a school district in one of the fastest growing counties in Ohio. We are having difficulty passing a much needed school levy because people are tired of paying higher and higher personal property taxes. We see an increase in commercial and industrial businesses in our area, but we don't see much benefit ... because they are offered tax abatements and other incentives by our local government.

If the business community really cared about the general education of its employees and future employees, it would take an active interest in the communities in which they locate, making an effort to work cooperatively with school administrators and teachers to set up appropriate standards and "real life experience" programs for students. This would cost far less than re-educating people later.

Debra L. Desgrange


In reference to Jack Russell's article on "Burger King vs. giants in Japan" (AA, Aug. 1), the smaller-type Japanese writing at the top of the photo (Amerika honba no aji) translates into BK's primary appeal: "Genuine taste of America." Central to BK's bid for successful entry in Japan's crowded fast-food market, I think, is offering the yet unsaturated novelty of authentic American food. The on-the-go Japanese and foreigners in Tokyo literally eat it up.

I know. I had a quick (and friendly serviced) Burger King burger in Tokyo's Kanda district just two months ago. Although the place was crowded with Japanese office workers on their noontime break, as one would expect in Japan, the bustling ambiance was neat and orderly.

That brings me to BK Japan's other major appeal. The lettuce, tomato, pickle and real beef burger cost me only 380 yen. Although in dollars (about $3.80) it seems rather steep, the question is, "Compared to what?"

The price was an attractive alternative to my usual midday fare: 900 yen (minimum) for Chinese lunch specials, or between 600 and 800 yen for no-frills takeout lunch boxes (rice, noodles, etc.) from the ubiquitous mini-marts.

Michael L. Maynard

Assistant professor

Temple University


Jeffrey Glasserow's article "How to hold the line on TV production costs" (Forum, AA, Aug. 1) gave me a complete case of deja vu. That was the exact title of a presentation I gave to the Association of National Advertisers 25 years ago.

Wait, there's more. At least three of the 20 presentations I gave at the Advertising Age Creative Workshops between 1955 and 1975 were on the same subject.

In 1983, Art Ross, then director of creative services for Weiss & Geller, started a presentation with this statement: "1983 will go down in advertising history as the year clients revolted against excessive spending for TV commercials ... with the average cost of a :30 TV spot quoted in the press as costing between $50,000 and $80,000."

One fact remains: The cost of a commercial is written into it by the writer and drawn into it by the art director.

Add the digital possibilities of today's computerized world and the sky's the limit.

One other truism: No one can prove that an expensive commercial is a better marketing tool than an inexpensive commercial.

Hooper White

Hooper White Co.

Barrington, Ill.

Jim Brady, when you write on Paris or fashion you are witty, interesting and enjoyable, and at times memorable. Such is not the case when you turn to politics, especially left-wing Democratic politics. You were funny as you lampooned poor Dan Quayle. But he was but a minor clay pigeon compared to the current occupants of the White House. You rightly advocate a policy of non-intervention and Christopher and Lake have been weak. However, they are Clinton appointees and the ultimate responsibility rests with the Clintons. For their part, Hillary and Bill have been changing course almost daily, vacillating and indecisive on China, North Korea, Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, etc., etc.

It's time for you to break your lockstep with the Democrats and recognize there is a gross incompetent-or two-in the White House. Go after Bubba!!!

Cornelius F. Keating

New Canaan, Conn.

Your Special Report on media planning and buying (AA, July 25) failed to acknowledge that the "changing business approaches" now offered by media departments in traditional agencies are in fact a belated reaction to a revolution in media started by independent media companies over three decades ago.

Your 27-page report often read like an extended editorial touting big-agency thinking. It presented an incomplete, if not distorted, picture of media planning and buying in today's market.

I would hope that any future articles on media evolution would take into account the important role independent media companies have played in that change. We deserve more than footnote status.

Frank Muratore


Time Buying Services

New York

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