A Fond Farewell
Iwas with great sadness that I read about the demise of Anderson
& Lembke’s New York office [Adweek, March 1]. If there ever was a place that came close to being advertising nirvana, A&L was it. Few people thought about the process of creating great advertising the way chairman Steve Trygg did. His theories and processes are as valid today as they ever were and have been adopted in some way, shape or form by countless other shops.
One of the most unique aspects of the the A&L experience was the emphasis on quality of life. I can still remember my shock when I learned that, like everyone else, I’d be getting four weeks vacation right off the bat, and that my presence on weekends was rarely required. On top of that, there were no gang bangs–every creative team had its own accounts–and the work was as brilliant as you could make it. There were some wonderfully talented people who passed through A&L, and the award books are filled with their work.
The most remarkable thing I remember about A&L, though, was the company trips. Just six weeks after I started, the agency flew all 150-plus staffers (Dan Wieden among them) to Tryall Plantation in Jamaica for a four-day vacation. It certainly beat the crap out of the occasional Knicks and Rangers tickets previous agencies had plied me with.
There are a million reasons the New York office fell apart, all of them stemming from the problems of succession in a firm lead by a charismatic personality. But for one brief shining moment, it was a wonderful place to work.
Alan Wolk
Associate creative director
Frankfurt Balkind Partners, New York
Safety First?
I write about your selection of Volvo’s “Snowballs” in Best Spots [Feb. 15]. It may have “superb production values” and “a great overall look.” But it’s also totally irresponsible. Four of my brother’s high-school friends went before a judge recently for a snowball attack that resulted in an accident earlier this winter. They will all spend most of next summer working to pay for the damage. Pretty funny, huh? Does Volvo know what the damage, injury and fatality statistics are on snowball-
startled drivers in heavy traffic?
Maybe all the ad needed was a two-second addition to show kids more in the way of consequences. I think it could too easily leave youngsters with the impression that throwing snowballs is harmless, all-American fun–and that is a serious mistake. The commercial is probably the lowest-intensity glamorization of violence in TV history, but it was still not clear thinking by
Volvo (the safety company, no less).
Name Withheld by Request
New York

For the Record
Clients working with Business Partnering International’s Agencyfinder.com service can, at their own discretion, invite shops outside the consultancy’s database to pursue their accounts. Those shops will not be billed by the Richmond, Va.-based pitch consultant [Adweek, March 8] In a Takes item about children’s clothing [Feb. 22], the NPD Group’s figure for 1998 retail sales of school uniforms is $900 million.

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. Letters may be edited.