Point, Counterpoint
I write in gushing praise of Debra Goldman’s column “Bad Ad-itude” [Consumer Republic, Jan. 26].
It is insightful, profound and absolutely correct.
The fact is, the notion that consumers are cynical about advertising, that you have to “get under” or around their radar, that they ignore or are accepting of advertising, is a massive con job perpetrated on this industry, on clients and on consumers by cynics who need to create this nonexistent problem to justify their bankrupt solutions.
Instead of being able to do good advertising that rewards consumers for their interest and participation, many of today’s advertising people cop out and do nonadvertising–advertising that lies about what it is by pretending to be something else. That is far more loathsome than tasteless or noisy advertising, which at least informs. The mere suggestion that we are attempting to get under or around a consumer’s (mythical) guard admits deception. (It’s only enemy aircraft that can’t fly blithely through radar.)
It’s totally appropriate that the deceivers and their cult followers are the only ones who are being duped.
The sad thing about your piece is that its revelations are not part of the fundamental understanding of all who work in this business. Brava to you for pulling cover off this lamentable deceit.
Please do the industry a favor and keep after it. It’s an important, significant issue. You can’t kill it off with one drive-by shooting.
Ed McCabe
Chairman, chief executive officer
McCabe & Co., New York

Debra Goldman’s column “Bad Ad-itude” makes an interesting point. Unfortunately, it’s entirely wrong.
The purpose of advertising is not to entertain, it is to compel.
Like many consumers, I sing along with the Mentos commercials. I love their campy style. As entertainment, I’d give them an A. But I have yet to be convinced by the ads to buy the product. As advertising, I’d give them an F.
I think I speak for most advertising people when I say that as offended as we are by jingles, we genuflect at the truly powerful pieces of communication that agencies occasionally slip out. Those pieces of communication are rare–in my 15 years in advertising, I’ve managed to think up only a handful. Most of which were utterly eviscerated by the time they made it through the labyrinth of agency and client approvals.
I think I also speak for most advertising people when I say that as much as I may sneer, there’s nothing I’d rather do. Except maybe snowboard.
Brian Belefant
Wildlife Management, Los Angeles

For The Record
In the Sports Illustrated vs. ESPN chart titled “Tale of the Tape” [Magazine Report, Mar. 9], several errors were listed in the SI column. Its basic annual subscription price is $81.95, its target demographic is men 18-49 and the median age of its adult readership is 36.3, vs. the U.S. adult median of 41.5.
The politician who introduced a bill offering tough restrictions on tobacco advertising [Adweek, Feb. 16] is Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

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