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More Cougars Controversy
In Edward Caffyn's correspondence [Letters, Aug. 3], he expresses an ethical problem with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners' documentary-style girls' basketball campaign for Nike. But when the majority of Nike's advertising is already based on hyperexaggeration, what difference does it make if the Charlestown Cougars really exist?
Enshrining overpaid athletes as they perform superhuman feats without breaking a sweat is Nike's trademark. But if Nike ever wanted to embark on a truthful ad campaign, perhaps they could show Nike people who really do break a sweat--their employees who perform superhuman feats in Nike sweatshops throughout Asia. I guess that's one PSA that neither Goodby nor Wieden & Kennedy would want to touch with a 10-foot pole.
So Mr. Caffyn, if next you see the Hanson brothers of the Charlestown Chiefs hawking hockey products, save your breath. When exploitation is part of company policy, what makes you think their advertising would have a conscience?
Richard Dollon
Senior copywriter, Gianettino & Meredith, Short Hills, N.J.

Self-Serve Advertising
Regarding your news story "Do-It-Yourself Ad Production" [Aug. 3], there is a logic to communications. Clients pay agencies for their professional counsel, strategic direction and innovative thinking. The agency that created www.adstogo.com (where an online catalog offers ready-to-use art and ready-made ideas and layouts to help clients create their own advertising) obviously has no concept of what a professional marketing communications relationship is or what value it is to its clients.
At a time when agencies are making strides to better serve their clients and become partners with them, it is disheartening to find a shop so mired in vendor mentality. It cheapens the art and science by developing such a potentially destructive product. At best, this shows a na•vetƒ about our business. At worst, it is a complete disregard for a client's well-being.
Apparently, this agency does not understand that the end product is the result of a process designed to identify needs and opportunities, examine strategic approaches, create innovative communications technique and sell products or services.
I've often stated that professional agencies must constantly defend against monkeys with Macs who think that because they can do graphic design, they are an advertising agency. I guess it lends credence to the adage: "You get what you pay for."
Kenneth J. Munkens
Director of client services, Lyerly Agency, Charlotte, N.C.

For The Record
Roy Davimes, a copywriter at Siddall, Matus & Coughter in Richmond, Va., was misidentified in a recent "Creative" article [Aug. 3].
Adweek welcomes letters. Send them to: Letters to the Editor, Adweek, 1515 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036. Or fax them to: (212) 536-1416. Readers can also send comments to mlang adweek.com. Please include name, title, company and location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.