Letters, October 27, 2008

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Jury's still out on Team Obama

RE: "Marketer of the Year: Team Obama" (AA, Oct. 20). First off, I don't disagree with the opinions of the folks who were quoted in this story -- there are many, many things Barack Obama's team has done with skill and energy. And they may turn out to be as transformational as the candidate hopes to be.

But I think the story shows our biggest pitfall as marketers, in that we're prone to mistake charts, polls and the excitement we generate for success. Sure, buzz is neat, but patting our compatriots on the back before finding out whether they've sold so much as one widget doesn't buy us a lot of credibility in the struggle to sell marketing as something more than a bunch of ad guys trying to win a Lion.

The Obama team has one job and one job only. It's not to build awareness, generate excitement or come up with ad campaigns. It's to sell Barack Obama to the American public. And we won't know until Election Day whether their story more closely mirrors the iPhone or New Coke.
Jim Stahly Jr.
Bloomington, Ill.

Ad Age too liberal, too conservative

RE: "Pallin' Around With Palin in Pennsylvania" (AdAge.com, Oct. 20). This article is an excellent example of why the liberal media (the overwhelming abundance of media) is so out of touch with "flyover" country.

Those of us in flyover country knew the minute we heard her speak that she was one of us, that she spoke honestly and earnestly, and was living the life she promotes.

Those of us in flyover country know a terrorist when we meet one. We know a corrupt voter-registration group when we see one. We know it is un-American to punish success in order to "spread the wealth around." We know that paying more taxes does not make us more patriotic. We support the military because we know they signed up to fight for our rights. We know Democrats' personal attacks against "Joe the Plumber" (a private citizen, who merely asked the question that exposed Obama's desire to spread the wealth) are over the line.

Sarah Palin represents what is good about America. She has answered a call to serve America -- not for selfish motivations.

I doubt any of Sarah's friends have held fundraisers for the president of Iran. I have not heard that any of her friends are domestic terrorists. I don't think she has any ties to corrupt voter-registration organizations. Her husband has been proud of his country his whole life, and not once has he complained about student-loan payments. She has never thought of her children as a punishment. She has never voted to let babies die that had the good fortune to survive an abortion. She does not apologize for America's behavior, but she does acknowledge we are not perfect. She is a true agent of change and has a record of implementing change.

Obama talks about change, but has no record of performance. I have not heard of a single story representing any change he effected as a community organizer. No one who has ever worked with him has come forward to tell us about Obama. His pastor hates America and wants a change that most of us find disgusting. He claims he was unaware of this after attending the church for nearly 20 years. He must be deaf.

The fact that Ad Age found this story worth printing is very telling. Maybe no one at Ad Age knows a conservative. That is too bad. Sarah is worth knowing. I am proud of her.
Arne Hull
Royal Oak, Mich.

Wow. How nauseating. So much for the "liberal media," because clearly a right-loving author got this printed. As a writer, I envy her platform, as I work in the ad world and know how far-reaching this site is. I agree with commenter Arne Hull's line that this is telling about the Ad Age powers that be. Hence, I say, "So much for the liberal media." This article alone debunks that. How sad that the author is so narrow-minded and clearly has guzzled the "wacko Republican lemonade" so much she can't see past her own bitterness/bile of the "East Coast elite," of which she clearly doesn't feel a part.

Implying that only Middle Americans are the real people of faith and that the East Coast elite are all heathens and leftist freaks is more evidence of her cluelessness. Palin is a joke.

As a born-and-raised Texan transplanted to New York, I have lived under the fierce, judgmental, hypocritical, all-encompassing eagle eye of the Southern Baptist holy-rollers of my hometown, so my cringing stems from real people and real experiences. I was born Texan, raised Republican and have lived to tell about it. This article just reminded me why I moved out of that world where the mind-set is claustrophobic for a thinking, educated person such as myself.
L. Jones
East Rutherford, N.J.


RE: "A Brief History of Pepsi and BBDO Advertising" (AA, Oct. 20). DDB, New York, was responsible for Pepsi's 2002 spot involving Sean "Diddy" Combs.
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