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More Media Conflicts
After reading comments from media executives whose companies handle competitive clients in "The More the Merrier" [News Analysis, July 20], I am convinced it's possible to sell time-shares at Camp Kevorkian! Advertisers that have been sold the virtues of size over confidentiality simply have lost sight of what they're missing, or what they place at risk.
Working for a company that protects its clients from competitors, I offer several reasons for our position.
First: The goal is to make each client the leader in its category. To do so, we put every resource in our possession in play to elevate the client's business and success potential. Although we segregate our clients in distinct groups, like most media companies, we pool intellectual capital and act as a responsible and trusted partner.
Second: When the perfect opportunity for a particular category occurs, or "fire-sale inventory" is available, we do not decide which is the preferred customer.
Third: When a client needs a strategy to counter an aggressive competitor, we can do it. I don't know how a company serving two highly competitive clients in a category can respond to such a request.
Finally: Avoiding competitive conflicts assures that no party can ever accidentally breach a confidence and spill any competitive information (which is the likely way most confidentiality breaches occur).
The real test of salesmanship will soon be on display as Southern California's grocery-store consolidation further escalates the battle for share. It will be interesting to see how Vons and Ralph's react when Western International Media inevitably requests that it be allowed to handle Lucky stores as they merge with their other client, Albertson's.
John A. O'Connor
Senior vice president, Media That Works, Encinitas, Calif.
History Lesson
Cheers to TBWA Chiat/Day in San Francisco for realizing it had to go back to Levi's past in order to get to its future [Creative, Aug. 3]. While the agency needed to spin Levi's story in a "nonhistorical way," it understood, as many do not, that knowing the who, what, why, where and how of a brand, product or company is the foundation needed to create new history. Without the research, TBWA never could have come up with the hard jeans campaign. And cheers to Levi's for knowing the value of its heritage.
Phyllis Barr
President, Barr Consulting Services, New York
For the Record
Marcos Perez, a marketing manager for Bacardi-Martini USA, was misidentified in a recent news story [Adweek, Aug. 10] In Best Spots [Aug. 10], the director of the Dunkin' Donuts ad was Jonathan David of Shelter Films.
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