Hilton Hotels RFP saga sounds all too familiar

I read with interest Alison Fahey’s article regarding the Hilton RFP [“Here They Go Again,” A&C, June 6]. We ran into the same situation with the Ohio Lottery Commission. In 1991, we answered their RFP. We did not get the account, but they did mention that they really liked our ideas and design for a holiday gift pack. Lo and behold, six months later we see our gift pack for sale at lottery outlets.

Our protests were met with “Our agency did this” and “We don’t know anything.” But when the 1993 RFP came out, included was the following sentence: “All materials and ideas included in presentations will become the property of the state, whether or not that agency is selected.”

That’s when we quit responding to state RFPs. As I wrote to our governor, that’s legalized plagiarism, but no one seemed to mind it except me. Glad to see there are now two of us.

Walter Ohlmann

President and CEO


Dayton, Ohio

Roth’s agency optimizer idea isn’t a new one

Dick Roth’s recent column [“Adding Up Agency Pay,” A&C, May 30] pointed to a Web-based Agency Relationship Optimizer that will pull together measurement variables weighted for subject and respondent seniority.

The formula is not new. GE set the standard in the 1980s by introducing “value analysis”—a method for measuring the relationship between GE and its vendors.

In the late ’80s, a similar model was developed by the Doyle Graf Mabley agency for its client JP Morgan to track weighted quantitative and qualitative values for its magazine partners. It set the industry precedent for a move away from business publications to lifestyle publications for their private banking division.

Twenty years later … agencies have caught up!

Paul Benjou

Director of client services


New York

Thanks to Tim Arnold for sharing Belushi story

I’m sitting at my desk, catching up on some reading after a monthlong road swing, and just came across Tim Arnold’s piece about Budweiser and John Belushi [“Live, From New York!”, A&C, June 6]. Absolutely fantastic story!

Although I live in Bozeman, Mont., I was raised in Philly and grew up worshiping the likes of Belushi and the Saturday Night Live cast. So much so that when I vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard during the Easter of 1995, I tortured my then girlfriend by making her visit John’s grave. … Guess that’s why she’s my ex.

Anyway, the story has pretty much made my day, so I wanted to say thanks for sharing.

Bob Jones

Director of business development


Bozeman, Mont.