In Defense of Deutsch

This would mean so much more coming from Dan Wieden, but I felt moved to write.

Over the past decade, no one has cut a broader swath through the bullshit of this industry than Donny Deutsch.

While we routinely laud men who built great reels at their clients’ expense, Donny Deutsch has never gotten anything at a client’s expense.

People respond to Deutsch work because it is refreshingly free of pretension. The Mitsubishi work may not be a Ben & Jerry’s flavor, but it’s not plain vanilla either [Letters, May 6]. Let’s switch metaphors and say the ads are Krispy Kreme doughnuts; they don’t turn the category conventions on their ear, but they’re rich and tasty enough to dominate.

Failure to value that kind of creative success is what keeps some agencies small and interesting while Deutsch continues to grow larger and better.

Mark DiMassimo

CEO and ecd

DiMassimo Brand Advertising

New York

The Case for Print Production

I am motivated to offer a different perspective of an important and often-neglected sector of our industry than the one that ran in Adweek [April 1]. To paint every person employed in print production with a nasty brush is a disservice to the many honest and ethical individuals I have worked with for many years.

After more than 20 years in the prepress and printing industry as a sales representative and sales manager, I’ve had the opportunity to work with agencies large and small. I credit those employed in print production with being honest, hard-working and focused individuals.

I am not naive enough to think that all buyers and all salespeople act ethically and honestly. However, in my 30 years as a representative in this industry, I have only been approached one time for improper compensation. I never called that person again.

As far as lunches, golf outings or sporting events go, these are opportunities to build relationships, develop trust and create a foundation for good communication. I am certain that other sectors of the industry find it important to look for every opportunity to spend time with clients as well.

Adweek might have attempted to get another viewpoint before taking a swipe at a group that has a hard time disproving a negative.

Michael L. Franco

Vice president, sales

Applied Graphics Technologies

Los Angeles

Self-Policing: Solution for an Embattled Industry

T he recent allegations of dishonest billing practices in advertising is sending ripples through the entire industry. While these charges are serious and must be fully explored, we should not let the actions of a few tarnish an entire industry. As the CEO of an independent graphics facility, I am concerned about the consequences of this scandal and hope that all longstanding client/vendor relationships are not viewed with suspicion.

With all the interest in the print community’s business practices, now is the time to look closely at how we do business. Fortunately, unlike the tangled dealings of Ander sen and Enron, ours is a simple business with simple solutions.

Vendors should be very clear on their pricing structure and how they justify charges for products and services—explaining costs up front is just good business. Internal audits of billing are another important procedure that every vendor should implement. Clients should feel justified to question any bill and receive reliable documentation of labor and accurate product charges. Most of all, the process and how it is paid for must be transparent to all parties. There is plenty of technology available to make this easy. I know, because my company has these procedures in place.

I take great pride in my craft and it saddens me to see the damage that has been done to our trade. Now it is up to all of us to employ new procedures to help re-establish lost trust.

Carmine Corinella

CEO and founder

Fuel Digital

New York

Burnett: Going By the Book for U.S. Army

T he Leo Burnett Company would like to follow up on the article concerning our agency and its U.S. Army contract [April 15] by clarifying two critical points.

First, we have worked with the Washington law firm of Patton Boggs, LLC, for well over a decade. They are one of several outside legal counselors that Burnett retains.

Second, we have exceeded by all measures the letter, spirit and intent of our contract with the U.S. Army. Specifically to the issue of minority spending, during the first reporting period, October 2000 to March 2001, we awarded 25.9 percent of available subcontracting dollars to “small business” against a contracted goal of 24 percent. Over the same period of time, we awarded 18.1 percent of available subcontracting dollars to “small disadvantaged business” against a contracted goal of 9 percent. For the second reporting period, April to September 2001, against a small business goal of 24 percent, we awarded 29.2 percent. Against a “small disadvantaged business” goal of 9 percent, we awarded 20.6 percent.

It is clear that our contracted commitment to the U.S. Army is being honored and our partners are receiv ing an equitable share of the business.

The most important measure of our efforts, however, is that this combined team helped the U.S. Army meet its recruiting goal ahead of schedule in 2001, and we are on track to do so again in 2002.

Ray DeThorne

Executive vice president

Leo Burnett USA


Readers Speak Out on Big Tobacco

I heartily support Vince Coppola’s position on Big Tobacco and its underhanded tactics [A&C, May 6].

My father, too, has suffered as a result of the cigarette habit he picked up when tobacco companies gave military men free product back in the 1950s.

Thanks for the eloquent editorial.

Linda Hatten

Director of business development

Sawyer Riley Compton


T hanks for the great article on smoking. I really appreciate Vince Coppola’s insight and courage to speak out against the bullying tactics of the tobacco companies. The work that Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Arnold are doing is great advertising. And it’s working. So, sure, the tobacco companies are sweating.

And Coppola is also correct that the ad industry associations are wrong to fight government restrictions on marketing that would protect people from the danger of cigarettes and the tricks of the tobacco industry. My dad also died of cancer from smoking. No wonder our industry is at the bottom of respected professions. We ad people sometimes forget that we must live in the world that our ads help create.

Ed Crayton

Creative director, writer

Crayton Worldwide


For the record: In Agency Report Cards [April 15]: In the Top 50 West agency list, billings for Young & Rubicam’s Irvine, Calif., office should have been listed as $668 million, up 20 percent. In the Top 50 Southwest list, Austin, Texas-based SicolaMartin’s billings, $100 million, were down 22 percent, not 92 percent as listed. In the Top 50 Southeast list, The Leslie Agency in Greenville, S.C., with revenue of $8 million and billings of $69 million, should have been listed as No. 36. In Media Agency Report Cards [April 15]: MediaVest’s sister shop Starcom was awarded media planning on Discover Financial Services’ $70 million account in September 2001. Richard Beaven joined MediaVest from Starcom Motive in London as director of product planning; COO Renee Milliaressis continues to oversee media strategy. MindShare sibling The Media Edge pitched the Sony media duties and MindShare London competed in the review for Philips global media planning and buying.