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Cutting ad budgets

Your June 24 article on ad cuts in the cereal industry struck a chord with me. When companies need to cut expenses, one of the first things to go is the ad budget. This seems to imply that ads are costs that don't return sufficient value. If that's true, why not cut the ad budget sooner?At least Kellogg has decided to be "very selective and hard-nosed" about advertising. That seems like Marketing 101 to me. Maybe a lot of other companies could take a lesson and increase effective ad spending and eliminate the ineffective.

I know, "If you knew which half, you'd quit spending it."

Well, when you need to cut expenses, and you decide that "some" advertising is insufficiently effective, you manage to pick a "half."

Mitchell Gooz

Partner, OMT Group

Santa Clara, Calif

Hispanic media pioneers

With Hispanic print ready to "kick into high gear" (AA, June 3), let's be sure to give a tip of the hat to the Hispanic publications that, through hard work and perseverance, kept the principles of Hispanic print alive.

I am referring to the publication I work for, Vista Magazine, and our respected competitors, Hispanic and Hispanic Business. Each of us has fought not only for larger budgets, or just a budget, but also for respect and the acceptance that Hispanics read. Additionally, we've championed the importance of English Hispanic media and its increasingly significant role in Hispanic advertising.

Raul R. Chavarria

Hispanic media representative

Oak Park, Ill

Women and computers

It took three readings of Rance Crain's July 8 column ("Helping women embrace computers") to realize that the man was serious! Not only is his column patronizing, but presumptuous in the extreme.

As an editor, isn't he committed to fact rather than supposition? "One of the big problems facing our country today is that women aren't interested in computers and other high-tech jobs," he states. What a crock. And there's "But American women aren't the only ones that have problems with computers," along with "In the U.S., women don't want much to do with computers as a career." If he qualified any of these statements, even as his own opinion, I might have seen some value in the story I believe he was really trying to write.

But given the summary judgments he made in reference to real data, this female reader is offended-or if that is too harsh, at least insulted by what someone with his name and picture on a columncan get away with. Unless, of course, you own the publication.

Eileen Ast

New York

As a woman and computer user for the last 14 years, I took exception to Rance Crain's column. I guess dealing in two industries (advertising and publishing) that are dominated and controlled by men has given him a condescending viewpoint regarding this issue.

Maybe USA Today's research means that the reason only 10% to 30% of computer programming, engineering and management jobs at technology companies are filled by women is because women have been purposely intimidated and discouraged from these fields and continually overlooked for promotions to management.

Women were into the 21st century way before men and in fact are the ones pushing the technology. (Microwaves would have never been invented had women not bitched about cooking taking too long.)

Here's a few facts: 1. Over 50% of all new small businesses are headed by women.*.*.do you think they're still typing out invoices on typewriters? 2. Women-owned businesses are half as likely to fail in the first three years of business than men-owned businesses.*. *.must be doing something right and I'm sure technology is a big part of it. 3. Check out the college enrollment and graduation rate of women in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering.*. *.women are fast approaching the majority in these majors.

The majority of women I know have complete understanding of computers and use them for both work and home. I cannot say the same of the men I know.

I think Advertising Age owes its women subscribers an apology and should have had the good sense not to demean women in such fashion.

Dawn de Clouet

Marketing director

Fusion Marketing Group

[email protected]

After reading Rance Crain's column, we felt we must respond to some of the issues raised. While it is undeniable that men are disproportionately represented in the computer industry, there is a small but growing population of women creating content and developing programming that should not be overlooked.

The notion that "women apparently see computer jobs as nerdy; they prefer cooperative and more social tasks" presumes computers sequester people, when in fact the opposite is true. The Internet has allowed us to expand communication, build coalitions and communities, and reach women in a way print and television never could.

We agree that there is a very strong need for positive female role models on television and in advertising; however, that is only part of the equation. The media hype surrounding "cyberporn" and sexual harassment likens a woman's experience online to that of a child, both of which need to be protected. Much of the discourse about women and computer infantilizes, condescends or blatantly ignores them. There must be much more of an effort by media, marketers, educational and technological institutions to take steps to remedy the situation.

Marissa Gluck

Marketing manager

Marni Cornick

Editor in chief

Fashion Internet, New York

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