Letters, Feb. 2, 2009

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Forrester stands behind research

A recent Advertising Age video ("Turner Research Chief Faults Forrester Data Accuracy," AdAge.com, Jan. 26) included comments by Turner Broadcasting Chief Research Officer Jack Wakshlag criticizing Forrester's past projections regarding DVR adoption rates. Mr. Wakshlag's critique is not new to us, but it is worth revisiting to update and provide more context for Ad Age readers.

First, Forrester never wrote that DVRs "were going to take over the world of television," as Mr. Wakshlag contends. As early as 1999, we identified DVRs as an emerging technology that would gain significant traction among consumers.

Ten years later, our prediction has come to pass. Forrester's 2008 Benchmark survey of nearly 55,000 U.S. consumers shows that DVRs are now in more than 30 million American households. As we regularly updated our DVR forecasts throughout the past decade, Forrester Research reports such as "Digital Video Recorders Take Flight" (2004) accurately projected that DVR penetration would hit 25 million U.S. households by 2007.

Forrester forecasts are grounded in a rigorous methodology that combines supply-side (company) data and demand-side (consumer) responses.

Each year, Forrester surveys nearly 300,000 respondents across the U.S., Western Europe and Asia-Pacific using our proprietary Consumer Technographics methodology, which is weighted and balanced to be a representative sample.

Forrester Research stands behind its market projections and analysis.

We continue to work with our marketing and strategy clients to help them better leverage the opportunities created by emerging and evolving broadcast technologies.

Cliff Condon
VP-marketing and strategy research
Forrester Research
Cambridge, Mass.

Haley is a friend to women in radio

RE: "RAB Defends Itself Against Hoax E-mail" (AdAge.com, Jan. 15). If there are any lingering doubts about the Radio Advertising Bureau's commitment to the advancement of women under Jeff Haley's leadership based on what I believe to be an irresponsible hoax e-mail circulated recently, I can unequivocally state that Mr. Haley is an exemplary honorary trustee of the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television -- and has been since joining the RAB in 2006.

He has worked diligently to improve the gender balance at the RAB during his two-year tenure. In fact, according to the RAB census, the number of women in management positions has risen to 50% from 46% since Jeff came onboard. All of which are just a few of the positive steps RAB has made that others in the radio industry could -- and should -- emulate.

Maria Efantis Brennan
American Women in Radio & Television
Mclean, Va.

Italian-American stereotypes seem OK

Verizon Wireless' stereotype of Italian-Americans does not surprise me, since I've seen this depiction many times. Verizon's latest commercial proves that this type of bigotry still exists, but it also reaffirms my belief that I must continue to teach my children the wonderful qualities of their heritage.

I can understand how a company would believe that airing this type of ad would not affect its reputation and financial well-being. After all, it is so common to see Italian-Americans negatively portrayed by Hollywood and Madison Avenue that our society doesn't think twice when we see garbage such as this.

I've been told to lighten up and to accept the belief that there is a bit of truth to every stereotype.

Well, if that is the case, should we let it all out? Should we permit the media to profit off of all the unflattering and nasty stereotypes about blacks, Jews, Asians, Muslims, Irish and Latinos?

Ask yourself this question: Would a company stereotype or hyper-exaggerate the characteristics of any other ethnic group without the risk of public scorn, damaged reputation and loss of money? Ask yourself this question on a personal level: Would you like it if your own ethnic group were portrayed in a similar manner?

Peter Fosco
Havertown, Pa.


"Online CPM Prices Take a Tumble" incorrectly cited an August study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Bain Capital. It was actually conducted by the IAB and Bain & Co.

The Jan. 26 story, "What Does Carlos Slim Want With the NY Times?" incorrectly noted that The New York Times owns CableOne. The Washington Post Co. owns CableOne.

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