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I enjoyed reading about Lowe & Partners' new Mercedes campaign (AA, Nov. 6). Especially the spot abut the guy who doesn't stop for Paulina Porizkova, or Martians, or even Ed McMahon waving a $10 million check. Seems he's having too much fun driving his new Mercedes. Great idea.

It was also great two years ago-when Hal Curtis, Woody Kay and I did it for the Ben Hogan Co. (at Pagano Schenck & Kay, Boston). A spot with a guy who won't stop hitting golf balls in his back yard, even though the Super Bowl is in overtime, his long-lost brother is waiting on the phone and the Prize Patrol from Publisher's Clearing House is in his living room with a $10 million check.

This is not one of those "they ripped us off" letters. Lowe is too good for that. This is one of those "Hey, in the future, if you see my reel, don't tell me I ripped off that Mercedes spot" letters.

And, if you publish this, I can stick it on my reel case.

Bob Shiffrar

Senior copywriter

Ammirati & Puris/Lintas

New York

It always amazes me that adpeople must constantly rediscover and relearn what earlier generations knew. For example, re "the power of advertising," reference is made to a research study report that "only 25% of respondents said a TV ad would induce them to buy a new product." Jack Shimell properly writes in to discuss the misuse of direct questions about advertising's effectiveness.

This takes me back decades to the Betty Furness TV commercials for Westinghouse refrigerators. When buyers of the fridge were asked whether advertising influenced their brand decision, the majority said "no." However, when further asked why they decided on a Westinghouse, the majority said because "you can be sure if it's a Westinghouse," the tagline of the Furness commercial.

The reasons for the denial of advertising's influence are simple: People don't want to feel they have been manipulated, and they don't want to feel that their autonomy has been infringed. It is essential now, as then, to use more indirect measures of effectiveness.

Virginia Miles

Marketing consultant

Englewood, N.J.

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