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A postal reform strategy

As the representative of business-to-business publishers that reluctantly agreed to the June 30, 2002, effective date for the next postal rate increase, American Business Media agrees with Advertising Age's editorial "Postal pact hurts but is right move" [on] the need for an overhaul of the Postal Service (Viewpoint, AA, Jan. 14). But we do not agree that the focus of that overhaul, at least in the first instance, should be Congress.

In five years of trying, congressional proponents of "postal reform" have failed to move a series of defective bills, and for good reason. None of these bills addressed labor issues, which are crucial given that nearly 80% of postal costs are for labor, and none have taken a fresh look at "universal service"-what it is and what it costs. Instead, they have proposed price caps [and] negotiated service agreements and often-ineffective cures for what ails the postal service.

American Business Media, on its own and through the Main Street Coalition for Postal Fairness, has for at least six years sought the creation of a nonpartisan presidential com-mission that would have the stature to address the tough issues that Congress is all too happy to side-step. Although we are disappointed that support for this proposal has been late in coming, we are gratified that many major associations and mailers have now joined with us in recognition that Congress alone cannot get the job done.

Gordon T. Hughes II


American Business Media

New York

The vital message in Brady stroke tale

James Brady's column "Your favorite curmudgeon gets sidelined for the holidays" (Viewpoint, AA, Jan. 7) may be the most important he has ever written or will write. His description of the early alert sounded before his stroke, and his very human reaction, should be given lifesaver distribution throughout the country by the American Heart Association. Masterfully written, minus histrionics but totally compelling and instructive. It's interesting that Jim Brady regards himself as a curmudgeon. I've never thought of him that way. Just as a damn fine reporter.

Wes Pedersen

Director-Communications and Public Relations

The Public Affairs Council

Washington, D.C.

Don Tennant deserves place in Hall of Fame

I am sure everyone in the adver-tising community was saddened by the death of Don Tennant ("Adman Tennant dies," AA, Dec. 17). If the term creative genius belongs to anyone, it was Don Tennant. For 50 years, Don created some of the most memorable and effective adver-tising that we have ever seen.

Don Tennant should have been nominated for and inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame a long time ago. Shame on me and others for not pursuing this earlier. Hopefully, we can correct this oversight now and extend the honor that Don Tennant so richly deserves.

Don Packard

Highland Park, Ill.

Editor's note: Mr. Packard was formerly associate research director, Leo Burnett Co.; director of research, Don Tennant Co.; and director of research and planning, Frankel & Co.

`Clean, bold' AA design

Congratulations on Ad Age's new design, especially the cover. It's a clean, bold look that is easy on the eye (so I don't have to put on my reading glasses) and quickly lets me know what's in the magazine and why I should read it.

In these times of change and uncertainty, it is easy to lose focus and forget how important our business really is. Ad Age makes an invaluable contribution to our industry, and its continued dedication to improving an already good product is a great example of the kind of mindset we all need to maintain. Great work. I look forward to future issues.

Bob Schmetterer


Euro RSCG Worldwide

New York

`Ad Age' look is brighter

On the train heading home, I opened up my briefcase and there was a different looking Ad Age staring at me. It feels brighter, and the page actually seems larger, due to the white space on top. Heads like "Work" are much cooler than what existed before. The edit spread on pages 2-3 feels strong. The only thing I don't like is the typeface of "Brady's Bunch." The light body copy seems hard to read. Overall, the design feels modern. Well done.

David Carey


The New Yorker

New York

Editor's note: Following reader requests, "Brady's Bunch" now features a new type face.

`Forceful' graphics

Congratulations on Ad Age's new redesign. I think you've improved the look and feel of the magazine substantially. I especially enjoyed the use of larger photographs. It makes Ad Age feel more forceful and more modern. I know that making big changes like that are never easy. To paraphrase Honest Abe Lincoln, it's impossible to please all the people all the time. But you did an excellent job and should be proud.

O. Burtch Drake


American Association of Advertising Agencies

New York

Comfortable environment

Congratulations on the superb redesign. I've been a reader since about 1966, as my father was a subscriber and I'd sneak peeks to learn about his industry. From cover to cover the redesign is a com-fortable environment and graphic-ally appealing.

Rick De Muesy

Western Advertising Director

Car and Driver

Hachette Filipacchi Magazines

Los Angeles


* In "Sony clears hurdle from $500 mil review" (Late News, Jan. 21, Cover), Sony Corp.'s U.S. media review was incorrectly described as a global media review.

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