Letters to the Editor

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Burnett doublespeak?

In the latest example of advertising as doublespeak, Leo Burnett Co. has just opened a division called "LeoHealth" replete with a logo showing an X-ray of half an apple above the new name (AA, July 17). The tagline is "Reaching the person behind the patient."

Interesting choice, the X-ray technique. Could truth in advertising come into play here, I'm sure the many critics (e.g., the nation's true health community) of Big Tobacco's biggest lackey would love to see Leo Burnett follow with a new name and logo for its far-larger, decades-old, and we-can-only-guess-how-profitable Philip Morris "division." The name: LeoDeath (of course).

The logo: an X-ray image of a cancerous lung or rotten apple core. The tagline: "Turning healthy people into sick patients. Since before most of you were born."

Gary Slack

Managing Director

Slack Barshinger & Partners


Easy online sampling

As Ad Age accurately described in "Package-goods marketers tune in free-sample sites" (AA, June 12), marketers are smitten with the prospects for online sampling because of the ability to cost effectively reach customers one-on-one. In our model, each member has no fewer than eight unique, discreet interactions with each branded product they receive from StartSampling's Web site.

What consumers don't want is to endure lengthy, time consuming questionnaires in order to obtain the sample they are interested in. We have found they relish the opportunity to give opinions in constructive ways and share information when the process is accomplished in a manner that protects them and allows them to provide information at their convenience. A significant attribute of the StartSampling business model is to know and understand our consumer members in great depth. We simply do so in a manner that is unobtrusive and fun.

Since the launch of our advertising program April 24, we are now adding members at the rate of about six per minute because consumers love the opportunity to "try something new." And 70% of them go back to the site with their feedback, telling [the marketer] about the product and telling each other about their experience with the product. Additionally, [marketers] are reporting extremely high click throughs to their sites, giving manufacturers access to new consumers and consumers access to something new, including new information about the products they are sampling.

We've made it easy and fun for consumers to give their feedback and we've made it possible for [marketers] to hear first hand what it takes to convert tryers into buyers of their products. Sampling online is simply less wasteful, more targeted -- and great fun.

Larry Burns



Carol Stream, Ill.

No McD smiles here

Bob Garfield was totally on point in his July 3 Ad Review column about the state of affairs and filth at McDonald's ("Bob writes new McD's jingle [but he's not smiling about it])."

There are three locations close to my affluent Detroit suburban home and office. Each is filthier and more disgusting than the previous one. My wife and I went to the one closest to our home for dinner a couple of weeks ago. There was only one person behind the counter at dinner time! Yes, there is a hiring problem here, too. But there were at least four or five other staff members standing around talking to one another and doing very little work . . .

We looked around and noted paper and food on the floors, spilled soda at the self-serve fountain and filthy restrooms. . . . We stood for another couple of minutes that seemed like an eternity. The line still hadn't moved, so we left and walked next door to a Panera Bread restaurant, which was virtually empty but, at least, clean.

Dennis R. Green

President-Creative Director

Dennis Green Advertising

Farmington Hills, Mich



* In "Tropicana Pure Premium" (Special Report: "Marketing 100," June 26, P. S8), Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, was the agency that created the "straw in the orange" icon for Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice, not FCB Worldwide, New York. The image first appeared in 1988.

* In the table accompanying "Hot i-shops hit $2.13 bil" (June 19, P. S-2), Draft Worldwide's headquarters was incorrectly listed as New York. It is based in Chicago.

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