Ad Council Sees Full Support of Its Mission

I am writing in response to “A Call to Arms” [Creative, Oct. 8]. This article misrepresents the advertising industry by portraying it as fragmented and reluctant to come together to produce unifying public service messages.

Since Sept. 11, the Ad Council has experienced an unprecedented outpouring of volunteerism. Agencies and individuals are contributing top talent and resources to create advertising that is helping the country during its time of need.

Wendy Melillo’s article creates the impression of dissension within the industry, of individuals unwilling to perform a public service. This is contrary to what we’ve seen.

Of paramount concern is that quotes solicited for the article are based on Ms. Melillo’s erroneous assumption that Ad Council messages would be directed by the White House. This is a fallacy. The Ad Council does not have any formal relationship with the White House with regard to this effort. We do, however, continue to work with federal agencies we’ve worked with in the past.

Our mission is as clear today as it was when we were founded just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The success of our campaigns has been a direct result of the ad industry’s support of that mission. We are, in fact, an organization that unites the industry behind public service. Your article would seem to be an attempt at just the opposite.

Peggy Conlon
President and CEO
The Advertising Council
New York

Michael Sennott
Vice chairman, senior partner
The Partnership, Interpublic Group of Cos.New York

Susan Murphy-Jacobsen
Vice president, corporate communications
The Advertising Council
New York

For the record: In a news story, [Sept. 24], Young & Rubicam chairman and CEO Michael Dolan’s stake in WPP was misstated. Before Sept. 11, his holding was valued at $51.2 million. By Friday, Sept. 21, after trading had resumed on Sept. 17, that amount had sunk to $39.2 million.