Letters

Pet Healthcare
Iagree with your assessment of the factors attributing to growth in the pet-drugs market [Adweek Midwest, March 8]. It is also important to remember that in a billion-dollar pharmaceuticals industry, corporations like Pfizer and Bayer are in a position to manage the risks and uncertain potential of a fledgling pet healthcare ad market.
Deep client pockets or not, agencies cannot overlook the condition of the consumer market into which Bayer, Novartis and Pfizer are now joining. Animal-health advertisers are entering into a consumer ad market that is already saturated with images of pets selling everything from insurance to drawstring pants. Spots for Taco Bell aside, an hour of prime-time network TV yields ads that feature Great Danes waltzing with their owners over a couple of light beers and lovable mixed breeds reminding their masters to put in their contact lenses before a big date.
These ads, and the images they contain, are certainly fun and filled with consumer appeal. I’m sure each of the executives cited in your article would agree with the idea that the long-standing presence of the family pet in major consumer advertising campaigns makes innovative marketing of pet healthcare products a tough nut to crack. I expect the true leader in pet healthcare marketing to emerge as the one that can foster brand recognition and maintain consumer confidence as new products are added to a family of substantially marketed corporate brands.
If growth is not expected to slow, as asserted by Dr. Bill Keller in the article, it will be interesting to see who follows Bayer, Novartis and Pfizer into the market and what the second generation of pet healthcare advertising will look and feel like, both to insiders and to pet owners. Likewise, it will be interesting to see who among our four-legged friends will be hawking Gorditas and SUVs this time next year.
Nathan Demuth
Media planner
Colle & McVoy Communications
Minneapolis
Soap Dish
Are you f—ing kidding? Making Mybasics.com’s “Guttermouths” commercial a Best Spot [March 15] is a sad statement on society, or at least on your sense of decency.
The language displayed in the ad (as you describe it) isn’t kid-type bad language, it’s straight out of a DeNiro movie. If my 7-year-old called one of his brothers a “motherf—–” [sic] or “assh—-,” [sic] he’d be grounded for weeks.
Featuring grade-school kids using that language is not “a funny way to pitch Mybasics.com,” it’s irresponsible. The ad should be pulled from the air, Mybasics.com’s management should have their mouths washed out with soap and you should get your mind out of the gutter.
Name Withheld by Request
New York

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