Contraception Ads Ring a Bell With DDB

When I first read about McCann-Erickson’s campaign for emergency contraception [Adweek West, May 13], I was surprised, to say the least. We have been working with numerous advocacy organizations since 1996 and have created a number of campaigns to promote emergency contraception awareness. Apparently, this work has not gone unnoticed.

One ad you featured showed two white pills labeled “Uh” and “oh….” We did “Uh-oh” in 1997. Also, you mentioned one print ad with a pill labeled “$#*!” and a radio spot using the phrase “Oh, [beep]!” to indicate a condom breaking. We did those phrases in 1998. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—it’s safe to say that we feel incredibly flattered.

Ron Elgin

President and CEO



Man in the Mirror: More on Deutsch

If there’s any money still around, I’d suggest the 4A’s spend it on medical research.

Because if they could find a way to clone Donny Deutsch, he could be head of each and every agency in the land. I couldn’t agree more with his plea for us all to “look hard in the mirror” [A&C, April 29].

But what kind of mirrors would be used? If the 4A’s conference is anything to go by, many would be of the looking-glass variety. After reading some of the recent coverage, I was half expecting to see a speech by The Mad Hatter (CEO, Alice in Wonderland Advertising).

No disrespect, Mr. Dooner, but I don’t think that “getting the mix right” is the key challenge for most holding companies. The real issues are how to deal with the increasing number of account conflicts, inject creativity into conglomerate-owned agencies and provide reassurance to some very cautious clients.

Which leads to the laudable suggestion by Ken Kaess that the 4A’s spend money on demonstrating the effectiveness/value of advertising. But do most clients really question the effectiveness of advertising per se? In my humble opinion, they fundamentally believe in it, but also see it as a hit-or-miss affair. They need demonstrable proof that agencies know how and why advertising works—rather than a compendium of successful, quantified case studies.

We should never forget David Ogilvy’s “divine discontent,” or Jay Chiat’s “good enough is not enough.”

Donny Deutsch doesn’t. And he seems to be making money.

Mark Thompson

Resting Account Planner

Santa Monica, Calif.