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Does it strike you as ironic that Advertising Age named Hal Riney & Partners as its Agency of the Year and then promulgated the notion that a prospective merger between N W Ayer and Riney is tantamount to "linking lifeboats in an attempt to survive"?

Do you detect a small inconsistency in the fact that the "lifeboat" story appeared on Page 2 of your Jan. 17 edition while Page 1 of the same edition carried a headline proclaiming that [Riney client] Saturn had doubled its ad budget?

I realize that the lifeboat metaphor sprang not directly from the minds of the Ad Age staff, but from another one of those "West Coast ad executive(s)." However, it seems to me that your publication found enough merit in this point of view to include it in your story.

Since we happen to be aboard the SS Riney, my fellow crew members and I find ourselves interested in your views but a bit confused as to when to man the lifeboats.

Is it when our largest client doubles its ad budget?

Or when Advertising Age names us Agency of the Year?

Joe O'Neill

Exec VP, Hal Riney & Partners

San Francisco

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