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Step aside, IAB

Couldn't agree more with Randall Rothenberg ("Famed disasters: Hindenburg, Chicago Fire and banner ads," Viewpoint, AA, March 5) in his views about the Internet Advertising Bureau.

I think the single largest obstacle that the Web faces today is that, as a medium, it has not found its true voice. Every medium seems to have one form that is truly unique to it. TV has its 30-second spots, naturally, but think about other media: radio and live testimonials, newspapers and advertorials, magazines and inserts.

Banners on the Web don't add anything to the medium, the consumer or the brand. They are purely imitative of billboards and, for a lot of us, are a real nuisance. As a result, no one clicks on them.

What the medium needs is to find a voice that is unique to it. Something that is so compelling people will choose to pay attention. The breakthrough is not going to come from media. It will probably come either from the creative side or as a grass-roots movement from the users themselves.

What the IAB needs is basically to get out of the way, stop trying to standardize the world and let the medium find its true voice.

Marcelo Salup

Exec VP

International Media Director

FCB Worldwide, Miami

Someone dropped a copy of Randall Rothenberg's column "Famed disasters: Hindenburg, Chicago Fire and banner ads" on my desk this morning and I was compelled to offer a quick huzzah. I've been telling my clients who are insistent on purchasing banner packages that they are largely a waste of money. The only redeeming quality I've been able to find from banner ads is brand recognition. But branding on the Web is really only effective with companies that already have built strong brand recognition. This article is vindication. Thank you.

Jonathan Cohen

Advertising Consultant

Davis Advertising


Nascar not `blood sport'

Rest assured, what happened at the end of the 2001 Daytona 500 was the last thing I ever wanted to see. After the tears dried, like most race fans, I was compelled to re-examine my appreciation of the sport. Here's what I came up with:

If Dale Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr., can climb back into his race car and confront the demons head-on; if Michael Waltrip, who won the Daytona 500 in a car owned by Earnhardt, can strap himself into his rocket ship and once again show us how to fly; if Richard Childress, Earnhardt's car owner and one of his closest friends, can lead his team back into the fray; if those men and women can look in the mirror and remain convinced that the seemingly irrational and dangerous undertaking to which they have dedicated their lives is still worthy of their best efforts; then I remain convinced that what they are doing is courageous and magical, inclusive of the finest qualities that humans possess.

Publicly accusing millions of people of harboring a morbid, base enthusiasm for seeing human beings-our heroes, in many cases-injure themselves or perish in a violent accident, is thoughtless and disgusting.

Doug DeLoach

Atlanta, Ga.

I am a race fan and a technician frequently employed in commercial production. I do not go to races to see crashes. I go to see drivers try to outwit, outdrive and out run the competition. ... I was one of those 180,000 people at Daytona two weeks ago. I walked out of that facility with a feeling that I hope I never experience again. Not this weekend or ever.

Brian A. Pitts

Westford, Mass.

Dale Earnhardt was my son's idol and I greatly admired him. To say that we as fans were looking for a crash that ultimately killed him is cruel and downright mean spirited. All the marketing people and ad execs that are trying to get rich quick from the Nascar "phenomenon" should understand the audience they are trying to market to before making such outrageous remarks.

Kevin Burke

Wilmington, Mass.


* In "Ailing XFL offering ads on the cheap" (March 5, P. 6), TN Media Senior VP-National Broad-cast Larry Blasius was quoted as saying "It took the [Arena Football League] six years to build ratings." Mr. Blasius actually referred to the other "AFL," the American Foot-ball League of the 1960s.

* In "Rich media spicing up online buying choices" (Feb. 26, P.s-12), Droplets was incorrectly identified as an "online marketing company specializing in rich media." Droplets is an Internet software company. Software developers use its tools to create online applications, including customer relationship management and e-commerce.

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