E-tailers need DM skills

Published on .

Commenting on eToys' holiday shipping problems, the editorial "Deliver on the promise" (AA, Jan. 10) said Web retailers would "do well to study up on branding."

That's only a part of the solution. E-tailers are really a new generation of direct marketers, and they need to learn what experienced direct marketers have practiced for a century, as old-fashion as this may seem. The basics of success in direct marketing are: acquiring individually named customers with measurable advertising; maintaining transactional history in a marketing database; purchase and inventory of the right quantity of goods; efficient order fulfillment and customer service -- all at an economically justifiable cost.

I'm afraid "branding" doesn't quite describe the complexity of all the behind-the-scenes "science" direct marketers routinely employ to maintain long-term relationships with their customers.

I'm glad to say some e-commerce companies are beginning to understand their need for direct marketing discipline and are hiring people with that experience, including graduates of our master's in direct marketing program.

Pierre Passavant

Director, Center for Direct Marketing

New York University, New York

PM campaign criticized

Over the last half century, it can be argued Philip Morris Cos. has demonstrated itself to be the greatest marketer in history. That is why it is so interesting to see that the tobacco giant is now completely out of touch with the public perception of its business. To any intelligent observer, the current crop of feel-good TV advertisements from PM is obviously a final desperate act of public relations before their entire marketing platform collapses under its own weight.

If [PM Senior VP-Corporate Affairs] Steven Parish is so committed to curtailing youth smoking, as he states in a recent letter to Ad Age ("Unfair to Philip Morris," Letters to the Editor, Jan. 3), he would seek to end all marketing of cigarettes in the U.S. and abroad. This is a simple truth that escapes no one. As such, anything he has to say on the subject is suspect . . I'm sure my sentiments are repeated millions of times over because this is simply the most offensive marketing campaign ever.

Bill Penny


Racing for Tobacco Free Kids

Portland, Ore.

Is there any reason in the world why anyone with a functioning brain should believe one word of Steven Parrish's whining letter claiming that Philip Morris Cos. has the best interest of kids at heart when it comes to marketing tobacco products.

Remember, this is the same company whose CEO stood before the U.S. Congress, hand held high in sworn testimony, proclaiming that "tobacco is not addictive!"


Bud Jones

VP-Illinois Division

American Cancer Society


Mr. Parrish should be ashamed of his twisted propagandized rhetoric . . . I only hope the philanthropy he refers to includes hospital, medical and funeral bills for those members of the community that his products maim or kill.

Heather Hartman Dippold

Pottstown, Pa.

Pol ads ignored

Congratulations on a great year-, century-, centennial-closer ("1999 -- The year in marketing," AA, Dec. 20). The "Year-in" sections were little short of spectacular. But why, oh why, was there no coverage, no commentary, no dissection of 1999's political ads?

Wes Pedersen

Director, Communications and Public Relations

Public Affairs Council



* In "MetLife seeks agency for online assignment" (Jan. 10, P. 30), Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. is seeking a Web site developer as part of a major revamp and expansion of its Web site as well as an interactive agency to handle online advertising and marketing for the redesigned site. Budgets haven't been determined.

* In "Association Guide" (Jan. 10, P. 26), Gene Grabowski is VP-communications at Grocery Manufacturers of America.

* In "Mrs. Butterworth's changes her target" (Dec. 20, P. 44), Aunt Jemima syrup is marketed by Quaker Oats Co. Aurora Foods' Van de Kamp's unit has a license to produce frozen breakfast foods under the Aunt Jemima name.

Most Popular
In this article: