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No focus group needed

Rance Crain's column on corporate names (AA, Sept. 23) came very close to our bucolic-sounding identification.

For over 26 years, West Glen Communications has been a leader in the area of marketing/public relations by distributing sponsored videos, PSAs and video news releases. Are we better known or remembered because of our name? We'd like to think so, since so many new clients have complimented us on our corporate name.

Actually, there were no focus groups consulted when we started in 1970. One of our founders lives in WESTon, Conn., and I live in GLEN Cove, Long Island.

Stanley S. Zeitlin


West Glen Communications

New York

Lawyers `R' Us

Walter Shine's piece on how he invented the name "Toys `R' Us" (AA, Sept. 30) was enjoyable, and I admire anyone who can create such an effective and memorable brand name.

While I agree with him that courts will not find that "stores selling drains or pets or tools" using the `R' are in violation of trademark, it doesn't keep TRU's lawyers from writing letters threatening action. Sadly, there are a lot of small-business people who don't really understand trademark law, and [who] will be persuaded to change their names.

A carwash in Maine last year agreed to abandon the name Suds `R' Us after receiving such a letter. They didn't need to.

Fortunately, some people don't knuckle under so easily. Another Maine business was challenged some years ago by a major New York department store. The Mainer, Mr. Gimble, won. Guess who's still in business?

Eric Riback

Riback & Co.

Charlottesville, Va.

Hit the brakes

Over the last few years I've noticed more automobile commercials using high-speed tailgating or skidding, sideways stops. I cannot discern any logical point to these maneuvers.

The last time I experienced a sideways stop was in a sports car race when one of my brakes ceased working. This leads me to wonder if the purpose of the skidding stop is to show that the advertiser's brakes are undependable.

Then we have the tailgating! Your car closely, very closely, following some other vehicle and al-LETTERS from Page 28

ways at high speed.

We also have the sport utility vehicle ads showing high-speed driving on rough off-road trails. Some years ago a young nephew tried to duplicate that type of driving and cracked the frame.

When are ad scriptwriters, and those who approve such abominations, going to realize that young new drivers will often attempt to duplicate what they see on TV? Would you want your progeny driving that way?

Elvin H. Bollet

Santa Clara, Calif.

The battle rages on

For what it's worth, Fred Lamparter of Ogilvy & Mather is wrong [in defending the apostrophe in "60's" in an IBM ad; Letters, AA, Aug. 5].

An apostrophe should never be used to indicate plurals EXCEPT when one wants to make a single letter plural. Example: "My daughter got all C's in her three R's because she spent too much time watching the Oakland A's and has therefore been minding her p's and q's." Then and only then.

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (to which any ad professional worth his or her salt will attest is the authoritative source) makes this very important exception to Webster's New World Dictionary.

Barnaby Pedge

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Che's roots

Love your columns, Mr. Brady, but Warner Bros. was right, "Che" Guevara is the "legendary Argentine freedom fighter" (Brady's Bunch, AA, Aug. 26).

While he is best known for his association with Cuba's Castro, Guevara was born in Rosario, Argentina. Rosario even has a "Che" Guevara museum. Rosario is northwest of Buenos Aires, and I had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful city last year.

Susan Fader

Fader & Associates

New York

OD ad OK w/NWMs

In re Bob Garfield's Ad Review ("Office Depot's nice try tries just a bit too hard"; AA, Aug. 19): Get over it, Bob. Those of us NWMs (non-white men) are thrilled to death Office Depot is "trying too hard."

What is it about showing real life that bugs you? Could it possibly be a reality check that WM are not the center of the universe?

Joline Godfrey

President, An Income of Her Own

Burbank, Calif

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