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In the wake of the Distilled Spirits Council's decision to end the industry's 48-year voluntary ban on television and radio advertising, we at Mothers Against Drunk Driving applaud Advertising Age for encouraging a responsible approach toward advertising of this kind (AA, Nov. 4).

MADD has never been opposed to responsible alcohol consumption by adults over the age of 21. We are simply against driving under the influence of alcohol and underage drinking.

MADD has never advocated a total ban on alcohol advertising. However, we have long advocated responsible marketing practices on behalf of the industry and have rallied against alcohol advertising campaigns that target young people.

By the age of 18, the average child in this country has been bombarded by 75,000 beer ads. When you couple this statistic with the fact that alcohol is the single most commonly used drug among American youth, and half of all kids junior and senior high school age drink on a monthly basis, the effects from stepped-up television advertising (with the entrance of hard-liquor campaigns) will be staggering. To believe that advertising has no effect on young people is ludicrous.

If the distilled spirits industry is going to continue to use advertising that attracts young viewers, then MADD will propose a restriction on all alcohol advertising until after 10 p.m. By doing this, we would at least reduce the number of alcohol images reaching young children.

Katherine Prescott

MADD national president

Irving, Texas

Ad Age's editorial "USPS gaffe" (AA, Oct. 28) overlooks an important point. The advertising prepared under the now-departed USPS Senior VP Marketing Loren Smith for the Priority Mail service not only was well beyond the authorized ad budget, it bordered on, if not actually being, fraudulent.

Without ever defining the Priority Mail service in his ads, Mr. Smith compares the costs of the USPS' "can be delivered any time-no guarantees offered, no tracking possible" service against the services offered by Federal Express and the United Parcel Service, implying that for less money the USPS offered the same service as its competitors.

Not true. In fact, the USPS' Priority Mail is simply a cost-reduced substitute for First Class mail over 11 ounces-First Class mail is delivered from any place to any place in one to 10 days (or more) without any rhyme, reason or explanation.

The competition, which Mr. Smith positioned Priority Mail against, offers prompt pickup on call, late in the day pickup in many areas and guaranteed one- and two-day delivery that can be tracked throughout the entire handling process. We note with amused interest that Ad Age described Priority Mail as a two-day service-Mr. Smith must have gotten to you (at least through his advertising) but Priority Mail is not a two-day service . . . it is a "when it gets there" service.

Perhaps Mr. Smith's departure will also bring an end to the page newspaper advertising pushing direct mail over other forms of advertising, making unsubstantiated claims by inference in a campaign of questionable effectiveness.

William C. Lamparter

President, PrintCom Consulting Group

Charlotte, N.C.

If Excite is such a great search "site," why doesn't this ad give the www address?

I. Friedman

Brooklyn, N.Y.

In "Belgian shop snares Schweppes work" (Dec. 9, P. 20), Grey Paris did not handle Schweppes Beverages' Gini account in France and Belgium. The account has been dormant in France but officially held by DDB Needham. The account was low-profile in Belgium and handled in-house.

In "GeoCities taps Saatchi and Zenith" (Dec. 2, P. 46), GeoCities was incorrectly identified as a conglomeration of regional Web sites; in fact, it includes content sites, on a variety of topics, that are created and maintained by non-commercial groups and individuals. Also, Saatchi Entertainment Group's Los Angeles office will work with the agency's New York office on a campaign for GeoCities.

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