Letters, June 2, 2008

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Pulled Dunkin' Donuts ad strikes a nerve

Re: "Dunkin' Donuts Kills Rachael Ray Ad." I'm glad someone brought this up. I've always thought Wilford Brimley's mustache was clearly a Josef Stalin reference. How many people were brainwashed into communism with those oatmeal commercials? I shudder to think.
John Fahden
Hot Dish

Nothing gets in the frame unintentionally. Not saying it is/was Dunkin' Donuts' intention ... or even the director of the spot. But somebody on the set knew what they were doing.
Thom Keane
USA Weekend
New York

You know what reminds me of jihadists? Close-minded people who attack others and threaten boycotts over something as comical and ridiculous as a silk scarf. ... Can we boycott Dunkin' Donuts in response to their response to the threat of a boycott?
Jeremy Villano
Ogilvy & Mather
New York

I am dismayed but not surprised by the cultural myopia reflected here. ... As a media professional in the Asian Pacific American market for more than 15 years, I have seen marketers trip on every sort of cultural landmine. In fashion, the dolts at Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas and, more recently, Chicago Cubs T-shirt outlets at Wrigley Field display offensive Asian images without remorse!

It is crucial in advertising that a thorough process takes place to review ad copy for not only color correction and resolution, but for the greater implications of cultural symbolism, especially in the context of broader media consumption by an ever-diversifying, multicultural audience.
Jason Rubin
Los Angeles

What a shame that Dunkin' Donuts didn't have the gumption to dig in its heels and stand up to the idiotic, inane [Michelle] Malkin and let her spew her bizarre views and refuse to even acknowledge her weirdo accusations.
Jennifer Mann
Kansas City Star
Kansas City, Mo.

OK. This is completely ridiculous. I know, everyone has said it. Just wanted to make sure I add mine just to confirm that there are still people out here concerned about other more important things. What's happening to us?
Patricio Ramal
Saatchi & Saatchi
New York

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: You're either with us, or you're with Dunkin' Donuts.
Rick Binger
Binger Catalog Marketing
San Francisco

Dunkin' Donuts is silly and cowardly to pull the ad. They are simply playing into the ridiculous generalization of those conservatives. Besides people, I highly doubt neither Rachel Ray nor the stylist has some hidden agenda by way of an accessory choice (which happens to be in style and rather comfortable).
Chez Ong
Spoon & Fork
New York

American Airlines strategy misguided

Re: "American Takes Flak Over Bag Fee -- Despite PR Strategy." American focused on what the fee would do for the airline rather than what the additional income would mean for consumers. American needs an entirely new communications strategy for the public as well as its unions.
David Margulies
Margulies Group

I am rather curious what was the second, third, etc. best idea of American Airlines managers during the brainstorming when they decided to run with this concept. I couldn't predict how long they could run with this terrible idea or the math ... but I am absolutely sure that from the communication viewpoint the negative effect will cost them much more than the sum of these luggage fees, and it will last longer in consumers' minds than anyone of these managers could even imagine.
Gabor Csizmadia
Gabor Csizmadia CTS
Dobogóko, Hungary

More to Gap profit than lack of TV ads

Re: "TV Ads 'a Waste of Money' for the Back-in-Black Gap." To say that the Gap is not advertising because it's not spending money on TV is incorrect. The Gap still does print; in fact, a recent issue of The New Yorker included multiple insertions promoting its special artist-designed T-shirts.

The Gap also advertises constantly via promotions to their e-mail mailing lists. There is no one answer to what promotes greater profit -- and it's almost certain that there are behind-the-scenes moves that improved the company's bottom line as well.
Kate Tews
Laster Media
Los Angeles
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