Published on .

I read the article about the Clios (AA, May 22). As one of the judges, I'd like to share some observations.

First, I think the industry owes Jim Smyth [executive director of the Clio Awards] a huge debt of gratitude for what he has taken on. If anything ever set back the integrity of this business and award shows in particular, it was the great Clio debacle. Jim is a man who long ago made his mark and didn't need to take on a challenge like this. We're fortunate that he stepped up to do so. While everything is far from perfect (what award show ever is?), Jim and his folks are indeed putting things very much back on track.

As far as the work being uninspiring, more than a few industry observers have remarked that this has been an industrywide problem for some time. Having said that, I thought the awards won in San Francisco by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, BBDO and others were well-deserved. If others are inspired to produce more work like this on a broader scale, the Clios will have served its purpose.

However, the most important reason I'm writing is to express no small amount of disappointment in the remark by one anonymous "ceremony attendee" about Bassat Ogilvy & Mather winning the Grand Clio for best of show in print, while noting that Luis Bassat was chairman of the executive panel of judges.

I had never met Mr. Bassat before this competition. But, having been a judge a number of times (including being the chief judge at the Ad Age awards this year), I came away with nothing but the highest respect for his integrity, sincerity and diplomacy. Never once did he steer any conversation toward the pros and cons of his or any other piece of work. He did work diligently at making sure all voices were heard and that the voting truly represented the opinion of the majority.

Regardless of one's opinions as to the overall level of the work, I think I can represent all the judges in saying our decisions were remarkably free of politics, whether corporate or geographic. These are the ads we felt were the best. And the fact that Mr. Bassat not only helped to make that possible, but also won for some very excellent work, is a testament both to his integrity and to his ability.

Whatever confusion there may have been about who won what awards, let there be no confusion about that.

Robert Welke

Chief creative officer

Leo Burnett USA


John Emmerling's predictions that by the year 2000 "the average American will spend 10 minutes a day with new media" and that "America's computer elite [will] amount to a clever little niche" (AA, May 15) says more about a lack of technological understanding and vision than it does about the potential of new media.

To predict future consumption of new media based on its current content and technological capabilities is tantamount to myopically predicting the future of TV back in the '40s. The reality of new media is that they're still very much in their infancy, and what they are today is but primitive versions of what they'll become. New media are being developed and expanded upon at an exponential rate. Their quality and entertainment value will continue to improve, providing consumers with more and better choices with which to amuse themselves interactively.

As to Mr. Emmerling's reasons for why he felt new media's potential was limited and TV would remain king-I look forward to the day when we have online multi-user interactive V.R. that the whole family can enjoy, and enjoy with friends thousands of miles away. As to Americans being "technophobes," I can only assume Mr. Emmerling to be over 30-since almost nobody under 30 today is a technophobe. And by the year 2000, techno-incompetents will very likely be a small minority.

So why did CEOs of "12 huge agencies" appear less than enthusiastic about new media's potential? Probably because they don't have a clear understanding of technology's emerging capabilities, or of how new media can be powerful marketing tools.

Skip Pollard

Link Integrated Communications

New York

Thank you for your editorial in support of the Council of Better Business Bureaus' voluntary advertising self-regulation program (AA, May 15). We are most pleased to receive recognition for our National Advertising Division and the National Advertising Review Board. We agree with your suggestion that cybermarketers support the NAD/NARB as a quick, fair and effective way to help foster truthful and accurate advertising in the online marketplace.

There is another important component to our process of self-regulation that serves a large number of advertisers who are using the new media to market online-our Children's Advertising Review Unit. CARU reviews advertising directed at children under the age of 12. If advertising is found to be misleading or inconsistent with CARU's Self-Regulatory Guidelines (which recognize the special nature and needs of this youthful audience), CARU seeks change through the voluntary cooperation of advertisers.

Indeed, the voluntary participation of advertisers is crucial to the success of the entire self-regulatory process. While some cases arise from NAD's "watchdog" monitoring of advertising and consumer inquiries, competitor challenges constitute a majority of cases. We encourage advertisers to continue to bring questionable claims-no matter what medium the promotions appear in-to the attention of the NAD (and CARU, if the claims target our youngest consumers). Working in cooperation with NAD, NARB and CARU, the advertising industry can continue to police itself effectively.

Additional information about the council and advertising self-regulation is available online through the Better Business Bureau World Wide Web server, located on the Internet at

J.L. Bast

President-CEO, Council of

Better Business Bureaus

Arlington, Va.

I read with some amusement Bob Garfield's Ad Review of Pizza Hut (AA, May 1) that somehow ventured from an ad review to a rather humorous political diatribe. I may not agree, but he did make me laugh. Complete logic disconnects can be very comical.

Equally amusing were several of the letters in response to Mr. Garfield's commentary. It's strange how quickly some label others who happen to have a viewpoint that differs from their own.

The real entertainment, though, came from [letter writer] Jerry Dyer's ludicrous attempt to somehow link the views and words of Rush Limbaugh to the terrible tragedy that occurred in Oklahoma City (Letters, AA, May 15). A real weakness occurs in our society with the belief that individuals are somehow not responsible for their own actions. The views or words spoken by Mr. Limbaugh had no more to do with that bombing than any views or words spoken by Mr. Dyer.

Paul Swenson

Richmond, Va.

Advertising Age welcomes letters to the editor, but we ask that they be held to no more than 250 words in length. The editors reserve the right to edit letters. Address letters to Advertising Age, Viewpoint Editor, 740 Rush St., Chicago 60611. Fax: (312) 649-5331. Letters can also be posted through the Ad Age Bulletin Board on Prodigy, or by Prodigy E-Mail at [email protected]

Most Popular
In this article: