Bozell's ADC Ad 'Dead Wrong'
Perhaps it's because I've been working in Japan for the past eight months and have missed an apparent shift in values in the U.S. ad industry. Or perhaps I'm becoming more conservative in my views. But I'd like to suggest that Bozell's poster for the Art Directors Club call for entries featuring a newborn [Shoptalk, March 18] is dead wrong. It's irresponsible for Bozell, or any agency, to develop this kind of work for a few reasons.
First, to decide an ad is not suited for the U.S. market, and then to run it elsewhere in the world, doesn't guarantee protection from U.S. exposure when it comes to industry-related publicity (case in point here).
Second, when gauging whether or not an idea is appropriate for the reader, you need to consider the reader's viewpoint. While a few executives at Bozell may have decided it's okay, viewers have different predispositions, and some (like myself) could find it immediately offensive before they get to understand or appreciate what the message is all about.
Third, whether it's a trade ad or not, if Bozell is going to put its name on it, it will reflect on the image of Bozell. It appears reckless and negligent for Bozell to endorse this kind of work.
Ideas based on shock value have had their day. Benetton pretty much capitalized on, then spoiled, this device.
There are ways to be provocative without being offensive. It just takes a bit more work to get there. I suggest that Bozell try harder next time.
Richard J. Wallin
Svp, managing director
ADK, a DIK International Co.
Men are Good, Bad & Ugly Too, Where's AMNY?
I'm confused. The Advertising Women of New York continues to sponsor the Good, Bad & Ugly Awards. Apparently there are two worlds here. There is the world that AWNY lives in, requiring constant vigilance concerning ads that do and don't picture women in a positive way.
And then there is the real world, in which countless thousands of TV and radio spots picture men as buffoons, children and idiots who can only get through by leaning on their wives.
Anybody like to help me start a much-needed organization: AMNY?
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Regarding "Dusenberry to Step Down" [March 11], certainly Phil Dusenberry is an ad agency giant who has been more than influential in making BBDO one of the cornerstones of the industry. However, Adweek attributes a bit more longevity to him than he is due or would probably want.
You credit Dusenberry with helping to land General Electric. GE was actually a client of Bruce Barton (one of the "four dead guys," the second B in BBDO) over 110 years ago. GE, too, was a new company then, and one of Mr. Barton's first assignments was actually to name the company. He later named General Motors as well.
Thank goodness Phil would never say, "That will do," in regards to the creative product. If he had, we could very well be sending packages General Express, as well as eating General Pizza and General Potato Chips.
Former vp, account director
Advertising Today: Big Names Vs. Big Business
How appropriate to run Alison Fahey's column back-to-back with the one from Michael Gebert [A&C, March 11]. They both hitthe nail on the head: growing in the ad business is less about creativity and client effectiveness than getting bigger, i.e., cashing out, creating staff redundancies and the like. (Even Sir Martin Sorrell himself has admitted that there is little scalability in the ad biz.)
There are no big creative names in the business anymore, partly because the formerly highly differentiated creative shops Fahey and Gebert mention have all either perished or been homogenized into the big holding companies. It's pretty sad when Chrysler considers itself to be "an Omnicom client" and Coke "an Interpublic client." The industry brought this upon itself and has to live with it. It's nice to see that Adweek doesn't feel it has to buy into the line that "it's all about the work."
Creating ads to sell things seems to be a mere byproduct of the urge to merge.
Press Counsel Group
In a news item [March 18], D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles' Julie Mulholland's title at her previous agency, Lowe, was misstated. She was svp, account director worldwide.