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`Party's over' forecasts

Regarding "The Party's Over" (AA, Jan. 1):

Congratulations to Ad Age for its eloquent summary of the economic conditions facing the ad industry in 2001. Permit me to add my predictions to your forecast:

1) Worldwide ad spending growth will be less than 4% as the economy more closely resembles the "stagflation" years of 1992-93.

2) Within six months of consummating its acquisition of True North Communications, Cordiant Communications Group will be the beneficiary of a bidding war between Interpublic Group of Cos. and Omnicom Group. The pricey P/E ratios of these two force them to continue to acquire top-line growth at almost any price.

3) Fewer large client consolidations, as cli-ents begin to realize that their agency partners' institutional knowledge is too valuable to lose.

4) Holding companies will aggressively acquire e-consultants, whose stock prices are down from stratospheric heights. More important, traditional agencies still have no skills in this arena, and clients' commitment to "clicks and bricks" business strategies is undeniable.

5) Direct mail will see a resurgence. The postal increase will reduce junk mail, permitting relationship marketing through this channel to be more effective. Privacy and intrusiveness concerns in e-media will not be resolved, as self-interest on the part of ad server companies will mitigate progress and a Republican-influenced Federal Trade Commis-sion will not address the issue near-term.

Mitch Kurz


Kurz & Friends

Norwalk, Conn.

Editor's note: Mr. Kurz is a former vice chairman of Young & Rubicam.

Airline in trouble

My experience with American Airlines was nearly identical to Randall Rothenberg's ("Branding goes beyond ads: Customer service counts, too", Viewpoint, AA, Dec. 11), including an exchange of letters with Mr. Hodges. Each time I wrote to the chairman expressing disappointment with the response from Hodges, I again heard from Hodges.

Mr. Rothenberg is very right about the impact on their brand. I don't fly American any longer, and I've shared my experience with many, many frequent fliers. This airline is in serious trouble.

Thomas E. Eppes



Charlotte, N.C

`Fast Company's' fruition?

I enjoyed Randall Rothenberg's column on Fast Company ("Pricey buy of `Fast Company' may bring G&J a big payday," AA, Jan. 1). As a charter subscriber, I have watched its evolution over the past five years. When it first came out, I was intrigued by its promise to combine the Harvard Business Review's intelligence with Rolling Stone's attitude. It seems that it has morphed into something quite different. Today it is really just Cosmo for Dilberts: a breathless tone, a fear of real analysis, a tendency to repeat the same handful of stories with different names and faces.

Mr. Rothenberg's reference to the Port Huron Statement was insightful. A lot of the image of the `New Economy' seems to be shaped by the hopes of the New Left.

Craig Henry

Carlisle, Pa.

No ad failure

Your editorial "Gore, Bush and ad failure" (Viewpoint, AA, Nov. 20) took a 180-degree direction to my thinking. I considered it a remarkable success story for both.

Here's how I came up with that thought. Both candidates' advertising and PR efforts can be described as being the same approach, as you stated (galvanizing their base for good voter turnout).

The fact that neither candidate showed overwhelming success over the other has overshadowed the success of record-breaking voter turnout-for both parties.

The consumer-or voter, in this case-turned out in force to support their favorite brand/candidate. The fact that one didn't shellac the other is only interesting

in the political realm. Had it been Colgate vs. Johnson & Johnson, they would have both been laughing all the way to

the bank.

From an advertising and PR standpoint, there were no losers, only two winners that used the same successful strategies.

Steve Throssel


Whink Products Co.

Eldora, Iowa


* In "Land Rover loses execs" (Jan. 8, P. 3), former Land Rover General Manager of Marketing Services Kim McCullough joined Martin Agency as a senior VP-management supervisor in account management, not new business.

* In "Spindex scoreboard" (Jan. 8, P. 12), the headline "This month's media winners" should have read "Winners for the year 2000," and the bars in the chart refer to the top Spindex scores for particular months during the year: "Political ads" (Nov.), "Olympic ads" (Oct.), "Bush ads" (Aug.), "Oscars/advertising" (April) and "Nasdaq crash" (May).

* In "Media Profile" (Jan. 1, P. 20), the Mega Communications radio station is WNNY-Noticias 1380, not 1320 as reported.

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