Feminists Want Girls to Be Happy, Too

While I can’t speak for all “feminists,” I was stung by Mark Dolliver’s comment that girls must be a disappointment to feminists “who want them viewed as victims of patriarchy” [Takes, June 25]. The notion that any woman would want young girls to feel inferior to boys is ridiculous.

I also want to point out that, according to Carol Gilligan’s groundbreaking work at Harvard in the late ’80s, the effects of patriarchal culture on girls are not evident until puberty. According to Gilligan, at 8 or 10, girls have no problem with their place in the world. It is after the age of 11 that girls begin to lose their confidence and their “voice.”

I’d be curious to see if the attitudes of 14-16-year-old girls mirror the optimistic tone of the 8-10-year-old girls in the study cited.

Judy Cacciola
J.S. Cacciola Marketing Services
New York

What’s the Harm in Getting Info From DTC Ads?

Tanya Irwin’s Art & Commerce piece [June 25] hits the direct-to-consumer conundrum squarely on the noggin.

Is it really surprising that the nurse cited a TV commercial as a source of information, with Zocor’s ad spending levels? And is it really troubling that the nurse learned something from a TV spot instead of a seminar?

Our agency works with some healthcare clients, including a DTC campaign for an HIV drug. We believe that great DTC sparks conversation and a search for knowledge. It makes for a smarter consumer and a better patient.

Great DTC, it could be argued, raises the quality of care in our country.

Perhaps it’s the stigma of a marketing message delivering such vital information through a TV set, at such a critical time in Ms. Irwin’s life. To be honest, if it were me in the E.R., I might feel the same way.

DTC, in this case, didn’t just show kids running through a field with puppies and kites. It delivered a key fact that resonated and made a connection with someone.

All advertising should strive to do the same.

Mike Devlin
Creative director
CCA Advertising
New York