Much has been said and written that the industry no longer has giants, heroes and leaders. True or not, it is certainly true that Bart Cummings was all three. All of us-his industry peers, his hundreds of friends and his family-will miss him very much.
I was honored and privileged to know and work with Bart for some 30 years, in advertising education with the University of Illinois James Webb Young Fund; as a fellow executive committee member and judge with the Advertising Hall of Fame; and as a director of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, which Bart led as chairman many years ago.
And in 1985 he organized and led a group of 18 of us in the first official visit of advertising professionals to China for three weeks. His people skills, his advertising and managerial talents, were never so evident as in the five-city tour of China.
May the advertising business learn from Bart's many contributions and may it grow more Bart Cummingses in the future.
Richard C. Christian
Medill School of Journalism
Those of us who knew Bart Cummings were most fortunate. For we knew the most complete, most dedicated, most productive adman of modern times.
With every new job he took on in his later years (Four A's, Ad Council, AAF and its foundation), he inserted his leadership, often prodding as only Bart could do, and leading them to new heights of accomplishment.
Bart never retired from the ad business he loved so well. He, with the help of his wonderful partner Margaret, just kept pushing his advertising interests forward. And they were interests for the good of all of us.
I talked with him two days before he died. He had just written another letter, I think to the Cummings Institute he founded at the University of Illinois. I'm sure its contents outlined something they should be doing. A firm but gentle prod.
A complete adman... a wonderful human being. Oh, how we'll miss him.
James S. Fish
ad-VENTURES in Wayzata
Your front-page article, "Home Front" (AA, Sept. 19), about the "new trend" of working women "stopping out" for motherhood would have worked far better as a critical piece cautioning advertisers from jumping on this bandwagon. And for good reason: There is no such trend, a point made over and over in your own article.
For example, you quote Peter Kim [who conducted studies on women for McCann-Erickson] admitting, "We have no statistics." And when you finally get around to examining the facts behind this so-called trend, you report that "the group called `the stay-at-home housewife' actually has been declining since the 1960s." So much for the new trend.
The only facts you present show that an increasing proportion of women would "prefer to stay home." This preference is entirely predictable now that work is such an inevitable part of nearly every woman's life.
The stay-at-home parent has become a seductive fantasy for many working women (and men). This fantasy can be a powerful marketing tool. But advertisers themselves must be able to separate the fantasy from the reality.
Editor in chief
New Strategist Publications
Congratulations on your insightful article, "Home Front." Thank you for the reference to Mothers at Home. We were pleased to see such a well-written and unbiased article about parenting at home in the '90s.
In a time when it seems that many in the media portray mothers choosing to stay home as stereotypes of a dying breed, we appreciate reading an article recognizing the important choice many women make of helping children grow into happy, secure adults.
Public relations director
Mothers at Home
In response to Sondra Arbeter Webber's "letdown" at an ad for New Women (Letters, AA, Oct. 17), I must point out a fact that may have eluded her: Many men are attracted to many women for many reasons.
The ad being referred to is far from demoralizing to women. On the contrary, it is a celebration of today's successful female.
There is nothing more appealing to the average male than a beautiful woman except an intelligent, ambitious, beautiful woman.
The ad reminds women that past stereotypes no longer hold true. To impress today's man a woman must be much more than visually appealing. But it wouldn't hurt to have great looking legs, because we are, after all, only human.
After reading the letter by Sondra Arbeter Webber I have reached the pinnacle of disgust for political correctness. Ms. Webber and the PC Police would probably prefer the human race to walk around draped in formless olive-drab monk robes, for fear of being branded "attractive."
Since when is it wrong for a man to be dating a woman and think she's got a nice set of legs? Furthermore, how does one come to the conclusion that a man's positive appraisal of a woman's physical attributes therefore denigrates all her other less-tangible traits? Why can't a woman be as attractive as she is brilliant?
I understand the prevalence of sexism in the workplace. But the advertisement's theme surrounds a woman and a man in a relationship, not an office. Ms. Webber's non-sequiturial scenario of businesswomen commenting to a male co-worker about how nice his buns look precisely demonstrates the rampant PC Mania.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
I would like to congratulate Eric Carrig on his liberal approach to the controversy of Generation X. I found many of the points in his article, "Where to reach today's young adult generation" (Forum, AA, Sept. 19) to be very enlightening.
It caught my interest that Mr. Carrig agrees that today's young generation are not quite as different from the baby boomers as marketers think.
Although the marketers' new slogans and gimmicks seem to fit with today's generation, are they really all that new? Not according to Mr. Carrig.
I, too, feel that my generation, defined as Generation X, is more educated because of the constant exposure of the mass media. However, as Mr. Carrig states, we still have similarities concerning the job market, marriage, having children, etc.-just like our predecessors.
So, marketers, stick with all of the great entertainment, but "welcome to the '90s!"
Stephanie A. Morrison
Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Your editorial in the Oct. 10 issue oversimplifies the issue regarding agency search consultants.
Clearly, consultants should be held to a very high standard, and in that context it is important that the client's search consultant keep agency financial information in the strictest confidence. This goes with the turf, and if it gives agencies confidence to establish industry consultant guidelines, so be it, but let the guidelines be fair and reasonable and not self-serving.
The real issue, however, has been obscured in the way the current discussion has been framed. The issue is neither, as framed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, one of consultant "ethics" nor one of the consultant depriving the client of a visit with David Ogilvy.
The underlying issue is one of true partnership behavior -agency accountability for the client's advertising investment, and client accountability toward the agency.
This hallmark issue of partnership accountability is what the current discussion should focus on but studiously avoids.
Arthur A. Anderson
Morgan, Anderson & Co.
I feel compelled to respond to the article "Logging on for a loaf of bread" in your Oct. 10 issue. As a longtime Peapod customer, I am continually thankful for this wonderful [online supermarket shopping] service, and I think someone should have obtained the customer's perspective before painting such a negative picture of online shopping.
While the mechanics of shopping and delivering an order are certainly difficult, Peapod's service has been outstanding.*.*.In over four years of filling my grocery orders, Peapod shoppers have only made one mistake.
Those of us who are managing work and household responsibilities under difficult time constraints and/or who find it difficult to carry heavy groceries can't imagine life without Peapod.