Playing The Feud
Mitsubishi stealing Volkswagen and BMW’s “driver’s car” positioning [Creative Analysis, Aug. 24]? Please. Every automaker on earth has tried to convince the American public that its four-door sedans could win LeMans if you just painted a number on the side.
This is hardly a proprietary strategy; it’s just good research. A sizable segment of the sedan-buying public hates the fact that they need a car for practical purposes, resents the fact that they don’t own a Corvette or Porsche (and never will) and aren’t too thrilled that they’re 38 years old, either.
Frankly, I’m blown away that Deutsch managed to move Mitsubishi’s look, positioning relevance and brand appeal so many light years ahead of where it was just a year ago. We should all applaud when an agency manages to totally resuscitate a once-moribund client’s advertising. And it’s working, too. Oh, and when I was Nissan sedan group manager at Chiat/Day way back in 1990, we had the best of the sedan-denial positions: “Maxima. The four-door sports car.”
Sorry, Arnold. Sorry, Fallon. Congratulations, Deutsch.
Pen Pendleton
Account director
Ground Zero Branding, Santa Monica, Calif.

All three campaigns–Volkswagen, BMW and Mitsubishi–mentioned in your Creative Analysis [Aug. 24] are “propelled” by contemporary music, a key creative component. In fact, music is the only thing you hear in two of the ads. But in the debate about originality versus imitation, it is important to make a distinction: Only Fallon McElligott and BMW had the courage to commission original music for their spots. (My company produced the tracks.) The others all used licensed pop songs. How original is that?
Andy Messenger
Mess Hall Music, Montclair, N.J.

Heard It Through The Grapevine
Your feature on “rebranded media agencies” [Media Agencies, Aug. 24] underscored the way increasing numbers of large agencies are branding or otherwise spinning off their media operations. When you addressed the subject of compensation, you published a claim by an unidentified competitor that The Media Edge had recently won an account at a very low commission.
Other than to note that our compensation on the account in question is, in fact, labor-based and has nothing to do with a commission, we can only marvel at the sourness of the grapes being pressed at our expense. As you also noted, TME’s competitors “have watched the shop log an impressive number of media-only wins.” You don’t win such accounts by taking unprofitable business, because if you do, you can’t afford the cost of entry into today’s big media reviews to begin with.TME has a track record of growth and profitability that few agencies can match. We understand why our competitors say the things they do. We don’t always understand why you publish their anonymous claims.
Beth Gordon
The Media Edge, New York

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.