Pass the Zantac

I read the piece criticizing the questionnaire for the Glaxo-Wellcome media review (‘Review Is Tough to Stomach,’ April 28). I do not know whose comments they were, but all I can say is they reflect poorly on our side of the business. Yes, answering these things can take time; and no, they are not multiple-choice tests; and yes, the questions are not always specific in their intent, but they offer wonderful opportunities to sell both your company and the media profession we all say is so key to the marketing process.

We have completed countless questionnaires for media reviews since the process became popular over the past few years. In the beginning, some questionnaires suffered from badly worded or poorly thought-out questions, and on occasion, we wondered if much of the data requested was more for the

consultant’s benefit than the client’s. But we have improved our ability to answer them effectively and efficiently, and if the reply runs 100 pages, we see it as 100 opportunities to make a sell.

I find it hard to understand complaining about that opportunity. More to the point, having a client ask us to reply to a questionnaire says a lot about the importance that client is placing on media’s role in their business life. That’s good for us in the media business.

If the Glaxo questionnaire gave some media folks indigestion, I suggest that they leave the rich food for those of us with stronger stomachs.

Alec Gerster

Executive vp, media director

Grey Advertising, New York

Beyond the Banner

In the profile of media.com’s David Dowling (Interactive Quarterly, May 26), Grey’s ‘insistence on a click-through payment system’ would kill the creative and extraordinary means for advertisers to reach consumers on the Web as surely as a pay-only-for-sales-generated system would kill most agencies.

Payment on a click-through basis is a short-sighted position. It forces desperate-for-cash Web site operators to accept payment based on the quality of the agency’s creative work (or lack thereof), and necessarily restricts them to accepting advertising from only related product categories or risk giving away valuable impressions for free.

‘You can’t get brand-sell across in a banner’ is as ludicrous as claiming you can’t get brand-sell across on a billboard, a T-shirt or a small-space ad.

Does Grey plan to become an infomercial-only shop and accept payment in the form of a sales percentage, or do they believe in the power of advertising and understand their obligation to solve the creative problem in the Web environment?

Kevin Ellis

Senior vice president

KVO Advertising, Mountain View, Calif.


‘Postscript’ (Adweek, June 2) incorrectly listed the director of The Ad and the Ego. He is Harold Boihem. The distributor who handles the video:

California Newsreel

149 Ninth Street/420

San Francisco, Calif. 94103

(415) 621-6196

e-mail: newsreel@ix.netcom.com

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