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Riney retiring?

Re: "Riney retires; will take emeritus title at agency" (AA, June 3). As a young (24), know-it-all copywriter in the `60s, I had the opportunity to work with Hal Riney at BBDO's office in San Francisco. Imagine: San Francisco, the `60s and Riney! Not only did we have a lot of fun (something our business sorely needs to reclaim), but we did some of the best, most effective work on the West Coast.

Most of our efforts were driven by Hal's seemingly inexhaustible insights and energy. If you had a good idea, Hal made it better-time after time, often after hours, on the weekends, whenever. He made us think harder and dig deeper. The day I finally left BBDO and San Francisco and moved to Vancouver, Canada, Hal remarked, "The thing about Vancouver is not that it rains a lot there. It's just that the sun doesn't shine much."

Of course, I dismissed his judgement (as usual). But I soon found out that he was right (as usual)!

A whole lot of Riney graduates have gone on to fame and glory, and I'm assuming the accolades and stories about Hal will flow like Gallo. (And there are a bunch of great stories about Hal's relationship with the Gallo brothers.) But for me, I can't imagine Hal Riney retiring. Advertising is in his blood. And because of him, it's still in mine-a fact I sometimes resent when I'm struggling with a headline at 1 a.m.

Phil La Borie


Stamford, Conn.

Phillips right to stress bigger role for clients

Graham Phillips should be applauded for not only pointing out the flaws in advertising, but offering possible solutions ("Let's fix advertising," Forum, AA, May 20). What he put in print has long been recognized by many on the sales side of the advertising process.

I have sold billboards and sold and managed the sale of radio over the past 14 years, and currently oversee media sales (primarily radio and TV) for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Too many times we, as sellers, have been given ads to run that we felt had little chance of eliciting a response from our audience.

Clients have to be more involved in the complete process. The growth in the number of TV and cable networks has made it possible for agencies to "rifle" in on a client's market. Yet too often the agency uses a "shotgun" approach to creating one ad that they then run everywhere-whether it fits or not.

Rollin D. Isbell

Sales Manager

Jacksonville Jaguars Media Sales

Jacksonville, Fla.

U.S. ads slipped from lofty pedestal

Praise to Graham Phillips for "Let's fix advertising" (Forum, AA, May 20). American advertising has notably slipped from the pedestal it once created. In a lifetime, American advertising went from leading the way to losing its way.

However, agencies don't stand alone in this judgment. There appears to be an awkward relationship between agencies and client-side marketing departments. It can be attributed to the fact that agencies no longer solely handle the marketing for clients due to marketing having become, over time, client-side.

Look at the effective quality of advertising currently being done worldwide and ask how is it that their advertising is so much better than what American ad agencies are producing. To end up this far off course is more than the fault of the captain. I'm afraid it is the whole crew that has contributed to the result. American advertising business on the whole needs to once again find the cohesiveness between business and advertising it once had. Hopefully, those that needed Mr. Phillips' message indeed "got it."

Steve Zimmerman


Slam at NORML's ad was beneath Garfield

In Bob Garfield's critique of the NORML/Bloomberg ad, he stoops to lies and specious arguments that he would treat with contempt if they occurred in an ad he was reviewing ("NORML's Bloomberg ad drops a big smoke bomb on the facts," Ad Review, AA, April 15).

It is not true that pot "makes you stupid." Artists of all kinds have long recognized cannabis' potential to unlock creativity. Garfield's examples of fake pot profundity would not have come from Einstein, but from people who had few thoughts of any depth to begin with.

His argument that he did other illegal things when he was young, and wouldn't want them legal now employs a false comparison: Marijuana smoking is not the moral equivalent of arson, since only the latter is a direct danger to others.

Garfield has every right to question what NORML did with the Bloomberg quote. But after 60 years of relentless anti-pot propaganda and outright lies on the part of the government (and 700,000 arrests a year to support its morality-by-coercion) NORML is entitled to take a shot of its own and not be held to a different standard.

Alan M. Perlman

Highland Park, Ill.


* In "Hudson, Dwyer to head Pepsi, Tropicana units" (Late News, June 10, P. 2), the list of PepsiCo units reporting to PepsiCo Beverages and Foods North America President-CEO Gary Rodkin should have included Pepsi-Cola North America.

* In "Super Bowl ads sell super early" (June 10, P. 3), Charles Schwab & Co.'s media agency was misidentified as OMD USA. It is independent Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.

* In "Where there is smoke, there are mirrors" (Adages, June 10, P. 68), it was incorrectly said that journalist Daniel Forbes' story on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy appeared last January. It appeared Jan. 13, 2000.

* In "Navigator of the TV roadmap" (June 3, P. S-12), Elizabeth Herbst, exec VP-advertising sales, Universal Domestic Television, oversees advertising related to the studio's first-run programming, including the cable-syndication dual platform series "Crossing Over with John Edward." She is not part of the team that sells the network-cable dual platform series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

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