Published on .

Integrate or disintegrate

The concept of integrated marketing communications has been relatively common among medium-size agencies for a number of years, especially those with business-to-business clients having multi-tiered target audience groups. I'm sharing this only because of the recent article (AA, Feb. 27) suggesting that few companies have embraced this time-proven approach.

In my opinion, the traditional commission compensation method long has been a stumbling stone to wider acceptance of integrated marketing communications. Departmental profit centers have also been a roadblock. .... It does take extra effort and risk to demonstrate to clients the true long-term value desired from integrated marketing communications programs. And it requires responsible cost management by both client and agency.

Recently, one of our management supervisors published a guide for the inexperienced in developing an integrated marketing communications plan. We would be happy to provide readers with a free copy (600 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64105). NKH&W believes that integrated marketing communications is mandatory for the future and wish the advertising curriculum of all the major schools of journalism would dedicate a three-hour course to it.

F. Peter Kovac

President, NKH&W

Kansas City, Mo.

`Healthy Kids' did file

In your survey of consumer magazine circulation (AA, Feb. 20), an error appeared concerning Healthy Kids, published by Cahners Publishing Co.

Healthy Kids, which has a controlled circulation of 1,504,390, was reported as not having filed their biannual statement for December 1994 with BPA International. In fact, Healthy Kids submitted its statement in a timely fashion. However, due to an internal error at BPA we reported it otherwise to Advertising Age..... We apologize for the error and any inconvenience.

Michael Marchesano


BPA International

New York

Orwellian mind control

Though I'm not a smoker and don't have any smoking clients, I'm compelled to respond to Bob Garfield's recent musings on the effectiveness of a new Massachusetts Department of Health anti-smoking campaign. Once again, Mr. Garfield seems to be reviewing campaigns based on his own biases, while overlooking the broader implications of the communications he surveys.

His high praise for the Massachusetts effort, which is based on condemnation of tobacco industry deceptiveness, overlooks one chilling fact: its source. These spots are the purest form of government-sourced and government-sponsored mind control-they use public tax dollars and all of the subtle brilliance of advertising's image-building machine to deter an entirely legal behavior.

For now, that behavior is smoking-an activity that's not easy to defend. But what happens next year when the Massachusetts Department of Health mounts a campaign against riding motorcycles, and tells residents to distrust Suzuki's deceitful ads?

A year later, the next Massachusetts public health campaign will elucidate the alleged health dangers of pizza consumption, and warn teen-agers of the many clever lies they'll hear from Domino's.

A year later, let us ponder a campaign urging children to inform on parents who don't recycle their milk jugs, telling these now skeptical kids that Daddy and Mommy may well fib about the diligence of their trash-sorting.

In short, citizens of Massachusetts, all you hear from friends, family, and business are clever lies. Trust only the state guardians of your welfare.

If we in marketing actually believe in a society of free individual expression, we should logically resist government involvement in social engineering. And firmly reject the opportunity to engage in Orwellian mind control via state-sponsored advocacy advertising.

Gary Stock

Croton Falls, N.Y.

Wrong man for spot

A recent TV ad for Miller beer that uses footage from the classic movie "The Sea Hawk" is one of the most inappropriate, tasteless and offensive ads I've ever seen. In the ad, a monkey belonging to Geoffrey Thorpe (played by the late Errol Flynn) tosses Thorpe a Miller, inspiring him to escape his fate as a galley slave on a Spanish ship (so he and his men can get to the babes in bikinis on the deck, natch).

Did anyone at the client or agency remember that Errol Flynn was a lifelong alcoholic? It's common knowledge that Flynn's film career and personal life suffered from his alcoholism, and that he died at age 50 due to the ravages of decades of alcohol abuse on his body.

Diane L. Schirf


Advertising Age reserves 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: