I couldn't help but notice the photos on page 27 of the Agency Report Card issue of Adweek (April 7).
Pictured are 23 white men, no women and no minorities. If page 27 represents the national and regional report card on our business, I think something is wrong.
The Ad Club, Boston
Heading for the Outback
In the March 17 issue of Adweek, Lane Schmeising, the vice president of marketing for LongHorn Steakhouse, says of his death row commercial, 'If it doesn't make you uneasy, it's not worth doing.'
My Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary tells me that this man wants his advertising to make its viewers--customers and potential customers--suffer physical or mental discomfort, and/or to be apprehensive, worried and restless.
Mission accomplished. I'm uneasy about LongHorn and will be heading for the Outback Steakhouse.
Kenneth Hollander Associates, Atlanta
Ad agencies getting rid of older executives is like teenagers and masturbation: Nine out of 10 of them are doing it, and the 10th one is a liar (Keith Gould, 'Agent of Change,' Dec. 9).
I last worked on staff at a large shop in San Francisco. In the five years I was there, every person over 50 (six or more in a staff of 130) was, in some fashion, eliminated. Some were given early retirement with healthy incentives, and some were simply fired.
For a while, there was no one there over 40, but since then, many staffers at the managerial level have crossed that threshold. They're probably making funeral arrangements for them already.
Here's the question I have: As a freelance creative, I'm doing better than I ever did on staff, but I'm also in my mid-40s. Looking ahead, I don't see myself doing this much after 50, and I definitely don't see any other freelancers out there who are that age now. The question is: Where are they going? What do advertising creatives do when they decide to hang it up (or, more aptly, the business hangs up on them)?
Account people have an obvious migration path into other marketing functions, but where do the old art directors and copywriters go for a second career?
For the Record
Grey Advertising does not handle the L'Oreal Retail Division of Cosmair (Adweek, March 31). The account is split between McCann-Erickson and Publicis/Bloom.
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