Art & Commerce: Letters

Will Smaller Brands Survive the Death of the Spot?

Short films, product placement, programming for cats: As Eleftheria Parpis rightly points out in “Out of the Box” [Dec. 23-30], national advertisers are deftly finding their way around the “death of the 30-second commercial.”

Kudos to the BMWs and Cokes of the world. But what if you’re not a global brand?

Regional and local advertisers will soon face TiVo too. They’re already up against a fragmented media marketplace. Yet I can’t see them scraping up the budget to produce a film or music video. And local programming doesn’t present enough opportunities for product placement or sponsorship. What are smaller brands to do?

It is going to get interesting in the trenches.

John Backman


Backman Writing & Communications

Rensselaer, N.Y.

Ad Clubs: Alive and Well and Living in Milwaukee

I’m very happy to say that we in the Milwaukee ad community aren’t facing the general apathy found elsewhere, as depicted in “Join the Club. Please” [Creative, Dec. 2].

We looked at what was going wrong in cities around the country (including our own) and created a new kind of club. United Adworkers Local 208 was formed last year acknowledging the need for a strong commitment to relevance and purpose. Locally, we are here to encourage and inspire excellence at both junior and senior levels. Globally, we have charged ourselves with promoting Milwaukee as a great place to create as well as receive great work. Within the past year, we’ve revamped our local show, hosted a conference with Volkswagen creatives and brought in creativity guru Tom Monahan to give us his Ad Hell Camp. And naturally, being so close to the nation’s supply of beer, we’ve had a lot of parties, including a battle of the advertising bands. Membership is nearing 400 and we have even more planned for this year.

Jeff Ericksen

Creative director



The Copywriting Debate: Two More Opinions

Continuing the discussion on copywriting, the Dec. 9 Adweek contained an ad which read, “Lightning strikes men more often than women.”

More often than it strikes women, or more often than women strike men? A better copywriter would have made it clearer. But at least the type was large enough for those of us with “over-40 vision.”

Louise R. Cote

Owner/Design director

Katmandu Studio

North Attleborough, Mass.

Regarding Joe Kazmierski, who wrote a letter about Lois Wyse’s column [A&C, Nov. 11] that appeared in the Dec. 9 issue:

I don’t think Wyse needs to “get over [her]self.” I do think that there are a few things Kazmierski might want to get past. If he really believes that “Sale! Now!” is a “clever use of [your] brain,” then he may need to look up the words clever, use and brain.

Further, to those not “wrapped up in the minutiae of ad copy,” or, for that matter, the minutiae (details, particulars, fine points) of every single aspect of an ad, for what exactly are you being paid? Think about the difference between writers like Luke Sullivan, Mike Lescarbeau, Dave Holloway and … well, you.

Bob Cohen



New York

In “Best Spots of November” [Creative, Dec. 16], the name of Lowe Brindfors/Stockholm was mispelled.