Debra Goldman's take on the new anti-drug campaign was interesting [The Consumer Republic, June 22]. But I was particularly amused by her last line: "After all, advertising works, doesn't it?"
I suppose this is intended to be some sort of call to defend what we do, to put our money where our mouth is.
Of course advertising works.
But what it doesn't do (contrary, apparently, to popular opinion) is cause people to buy things they don't want or lead them to do things they don't want to do. If I don't drink beer, all the Miller Times in the world won't make me do so. If I don't smoke, Joe Camel isn't going to push me across the line. Only if I'm inclined to do these things might I be convinced to sample a brand. That's about the best advertising can usually do.
The anti-drug initiative can have some impact, but only as part of an overall attitude change that results from a cultural shift. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has made terrific inroads against drinking and driving by making such actions culturally unacceptable. Advertising was part of that--but only part.
I expect the agencies that eventually undertake the anti-drug assignment will do it as well and powerfully as it can be done. I just hope a billion dollars of our money isn't spent preaching to the choir.
Executive art director
HK&P Advertising, Houston
I would like to respond to your news story "Deloitte Collecting Info for Allstate" [Adweek, June 15]. Deloitte & Touche is currently engaged in a wide-ranging procurement consulting project for Allstate, covering many aspects of how we operate. One of the aims of the work is to see how we can best leverage our buying power as one of the nation's largest insurers. As part of this project, we extended the scope of Deloitte's work to look at media optimization as a potential cost-saving opportunity for Allstate.
Our agency, Leo Burnett, has not only been aware of the inquiry but has assisted greatly in the process. The wording Deloitte used when expanding its research work into the media world may have led to the implication that Allstate was contemplating using new media services and moving our media buying from Leo Burnett.
Any such impression is completely incorrect.
Allstate finds Leo Burnett's media services exemplary. While optimization is a relatively new tool in the U.S., we believe Leo Burnett is ahead of the curve in its use. We have no plans to place our media planning and buying or any other services in review, as may have been implied. We value our longstanding relationship with Leo Burnett.
Vice president, advertising and brand communication
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.