Letters, April 27, 2009

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Why such visceral Enfatico hatred?

RE: "Where Enfatico Went Wrong and What It Taught" (AdAge.com, April 20) I continue to be astonished at the visceral, prolific, inane, uninformed and often profane reaction to Enfatico and to those who conceived it and attempted to create a seismic shift in the agency-client relationship. It's like everyone who ever had a bad experience in the biz or had been rejected by "a big agency" or WPP in particular decided that the current course and speed of agency integration was "just fine," that the senior clients in the business haven't been complaining for years about agency waste, inefficiency and lack of coordination.

[The biggest critics] weren't in the meetings, and neither were the whining, potty-mouthed incompetents who seemed to criticize without ever having been in the fight and trying to solve the systemic problems. You don't know Michael Dell, Mark Jarvis, Martin Sorrell or me. You don't know what WPP risked and was willing to risk, or how much massive change had to take place inside Dell to assure the relationship landed on two feet. Were there mistakes made? Yes, there were. But they were not mistakes of intent, ego or greed. If anything, they were legitimate concerns about the pace we tried to implement change. How much executive agreement at Dell had to be achieved. How many "corporate antibodies" would attack the infant at birth and choke it for holding up a mirror and reflecting an image of their own incompetence.

For better for worse, I was a prime mover in those meetings, recruited to Dell by Michael Dell and given very specific instructions followed with the words "We need dramatic change. And my tolerance for risk is much higher than in years past."

Dell's competing dis-integrated agency model was a mess. Even the state of Enfatico today I believe is better than pre-Enfatico years, and I continue to wish them the best in the future.

Casey Jones
Former VP-global marketing, Enfatico
Austin, Texas

Domino's responded appropriately to crisis

RE: Bob Garfield's "Domino's Apology Video Isn't Going to Erase Those Images" (AA, April 20). You're overthinking this, Bob.

Although most of us pizza lovers would never ever buy a pizza from a chain outfit in the first place, we've come a long way from the old Tylenol era. We're not total idiots. We know that food preparers may be doing stuff like this in pretty much every food establishment -- including the fanciest restaurants -- since there are unhappy, pissed-off, angry, underpaid nincompoops all over. It's inherent in the economics of the food biz, from the fast feeders to the ritzy joints, too. Odds are , it's gonna happen.

And while I agree with you that the Domino corporate-speak sounds absolutely ludicrous, I think it did an OK job by responding without making a federal case out of it. Its response was measured. And for me, that put the incident in its proper perspective.

Sure, Domino's sales will be off for a while. But Americans are not likely to punish Domino's for the sins of a few a-holes. It would be different if Domino's itself was found to knowingly use tainted ingredients. Or if it systematically followed unsafe food handling practices. Or if it treated customers differently based on race. Those would be major problems. This is a molehill.

Rob Earl
Watson Earl & Partners
New York

Trying to make sense of Twitter

RE: "The Rise of the C-Tweet" (CMO Strategy, AdAge.com, April 21). Twitter reminds me of e-mail 12 years ago. No one quite understood it, but we couldn't deny it was important.

With Twitter I had a similar dilemma. How does this technology define me, my company and my brand? I posed the question (on Facebook) to new-media author Don Tapscott, who told me, "We define who we are. Technology enables possibilities ... especially the new media."

As a founder/president, I am my brand -- and as such, I can carry this message. I don't envy huge companies with multiple voices. A company can only have one voice, one brand. I don't pretend to fully understand Twitter or the future of social marketing. However, I am aware of its importance. As a result, I'm riding the wave, and am open to future possibilities.

Craig Oliver
Spas Of America
Vancouver, BC


RE: "Green-Marketing Revolution Defies Economic Downturn," (AA, April 20). The close to 200,000 sample requests prior to launch for Huggies Pure & Natural diapers came via the HuggiesBabyNetwork website, not blogger outreach efforts, which began more recently. Edelman, Chicago, is handling PR for the launch, but not blogger outreach, which is handled by M80, a unit of WPP Group's MindShare.

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