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`Best' magazines?

I just finished reading Advertising Age's Special Report "Best Magazines," on hot magazines in the country (AA, March 13). I understand that Ad Age is a trade publication and from its point of view a magazine's greatness depends only on the number of ad pages. That's understandable except for two problems.

First, some magazines with hundreds of ad pages happen to give away hundreds of ad pages to impress people who don't do their homework.

Secondly, I doubt your main subscribers respect your opinion because they are aware of all the wonderful magazines that are not spending millions of dollars advertising with you.

For your information, we have been doing a great magazine for 14 years, and we get great support from our advertisers. I hope you will flip through it. It will open your eyes and hopefully encourage you to do a little research and homework on other magazines that are out there so that you will have a certain degree of credibility with advertisers, ad agencies and publishers.

Ali Ghanbarian

Publisher, Editor in Chief


San Francisco

Keen.com: Ad worked

Glad Keen.com could illicit some type of reaction, although it is not the one for which we were hoping ("Bad dot-com ads are bad news for ad biz, but too few see peril," Viewpoint, AA, April 3).

As columnist Randall Rothenberg guessed, we were trying to differentiate ourselves as well as pique people's curiosity enough to get them to respond.

Based on the numbers we have logged in the past few days something is working--and, heck, Rothenberg went.

Here are the numbers:

* Sunday, March 26th--Right after the Keen.com spots were aired, the number of page views was 200% higher than the previous average for Sunday evenings.

* First five days of the campaign--The average daily number of page views doubled vs. the previous average.

* Registration of new members increased by 85% vs. the previous average.

* Number of calls increased by 75% vs. the previous average.

We believe these results are powerful.

They have been achieved in only five days and at the time the campaign had only covered around 30% of the audience with a very low frequency. We expect even larger increases during the next few weeks.

I am wondering if fast brand building is the way of the future. I think it might be until the dot-com world has lost some visibility.

Dustin Sellers

Director of Marketing


San Francisco

Editor's note: In his column, Mr. Rothenberg wrote that a Keen.com spot "was so opaque it made Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony seem lucid."

Randall Rothenberg in "Bad dot-com ads are bad news for ad biz, but too few see peril" deplores the sheepish behavior of dot-com agencies' total abandonment of advertising principles as they cow to marketing-ignorant clients just to make a dot.buck. What a far cry from the 1940s when my grandfather, Atherton Hobler (founder chairman of Benton & Bowles and Advertising Hall of Famer, by the way) was approached by Procter & Gamble Co. with the offer to advertise their shampoo product, Prell.

At the time, Prell was white and packaged in a glass bottle. My grandfather's response? "Make the product green and put it in a plastic bottle and we'll take on the account. Otherwise, no thank you."

Randolph Hobler

Marketing Strategist


Columbus, Ohio


* In "Northern Light is not search lite" (April 17, P. 59), Northern Light was incorrectly cited as receiving fewer than 250,000 unique users in February according to Media Metrix data. Media Metrix did not check and provide numbers for the www.nlsearch.com URL. That address, which sends users to www.northernlight.com, had 1.48 million unique users in February, according to Media Metrix.

* In "Volvo expands brand image to next generation" (April 10, P. 12), Offspring magazine was misidentified as a spinoff of Time Inc.'s Time. It is a sister publication to Smart Money, a joint venture between Hearst Magazines and Dow Jones & Co.

* In "Jerry Yang" (AA Special Issue "The Interactive Future," April 2000, P. 56), Mr. Yang's age is 31, not 33 as stated in the article.

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