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Bob Garfield's Ad Review "Cigarette ads revive the spirit of Joe Camel" (AA, July 27) would have been more appropriately titled "Adult smokers don't have a sense of humor," because that certainly was his angle.

First, adult smokers find our ad concepts very amusing. Second, it is completely absurd to assert the use of avant-garde humor in cigarette-brand advertising automatically means the `Mighty Tasty' campaign targets underage smokers.

Every day millions of dollars are spent by major corporations on advertising that uses vibrant color, eye-catching photography, attention-getting copy and, yes, avant-garde humor to market decidedly adult products and services to adult consumers across a variety of categories -- from hotel chains and credit cards to expensive luxury sedans and laundry detergent.

So why contend color, photography, text and humor supposedly "target youth" when used in cigarette ads? Simply because the anti-smoking industry -- and, in this case, an advertising critic who has an historic and, apparently, ongoing disdain for the Camel brand -- says so . . . without proof or evidence.

Meanwhile, there is a substantial body of published studies that indicate peer influence, parental example and access -- not advertising -- are the reasons youth smoke.

Mr. Garfield was incorrect when he cited lackluster performance as the reason [R.J. Reynolds] introduced the "Mighty Tasty" campaign. The brand's market share grew during the "What you're looking for" campaign. As with any other advertiser, however, we constantly look for ways to keep making our campaigns more creative and innovative.

And while Mr. Garfield might think the idea of the "Mighty Tasty" campaign's "Viewer Discretion Advised" notes mock health warnings, he could not be further from the truth. We take very seriously the statutory responsibility to place health warnings on our products and our advertisements . . .

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. does not want youth to smoke. Our company does not engage in any activities whatsoever designed to encourage underaged persons to become smokers . . . We advertise to communicate with adult smokers, and humor helps us break through the cluttered cigarette marketplace . . . All of our brand communications are developed for, researched among and chosen to run becauseLETTERS from Page 16

they are relevant to smokers 21 years of age and older . . .

Our concern for the well-being of children is strongly held by each of us -- including me. We firmly oppose youth smoking and we do not leave our responsibilities as parents and citizens at home when we go to work each day for RJR.

Fran Creighton

VP-Marketing, Camel

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Winston-Salem, N.C.

Beyond advertising

I read with great interest "Beyond advertising" (AA, Aug. 3) and its coverage of the shift towards "integrated marketing" by many major ad agencies.

This "philosophical shift," however, has been for many of us smaller agencies a fundamental approach towards advertising for many years. Not all accounts have multimillion-dollar budgets and, as such, traditional media campaigns are not always a feasible solution. As a result, at Quantum Group, integrated marketing is nothing new. We have used and long advocated integrated marketing as an effective, lower-cost strategy.

It is unfortunate many large agencies have become fixated on media solutions rather than remain committed to our primary mandate: to provide our clients with outstanding and effective creative work in whatever format necessary to help them achieve their desired goals . . .

The fact so many of the larger agencies had never, prior to now, embraced integrated marketing as a viable option seems to hint at a sense of conformity in our industry, a circumstance we should endeavor to avoid.

We commend this move by the majors. However, let us state the situation as it really is: [It's] an implicit acknowledgement by these companies of the complaints leveled by our critics -- overemphasis on creative work and not enough focus on the most effective means of delivering the message.

Ru-El Buford

CEO-Creative Director

Quantum Group

Jamaica, N.Y.


In "Drypers diapers, wipes join in anti-germ warfare" (Aug. 10, P. 8), the active ingredient in Drypers Supreme with Germ Guard diapers is Aegis Microbe Shield, which is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in diapers. The active ingredient in Drypers Antibacterial Baby Wipes is benzalkonium chloride. Neither product contains triclosan.

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