Think Tank 3: Huffington Ads Just Like Citystreets Spot

While the implosion of Enron, WorldCom and Arthur Andersen have shown us all the damage that results from unethical business practices, there is another form of corporate malfeasance that also causes great damage to companies, organizations and the careers of individuals that is still widely unknown and not talked about. It is the plagiarism of ideas that routinely and casually takes place in the creative industries. A most recent example of this is Arianna Huffington’s anti-SUV commercials that received massive amounts of press attention this past week, including Wendy Melillo’s article [Jan. 13].

The Huffington commercials are nothing more than logically flawed spots, plagiarized from a commercial that Think Tank 3 created last summer for City streets, a New York-based non-profit pedestrian rights and advocacy organization.

According to Web logs, the Citystreets Web site has received hundreds of thousands of hits since the initial press release distribution. The QuickTime version of the commercial was downloaded more than 50,000 times from the City streets Web site.

Citystreets is a pretty amazing organization whose influence on urban issues is completely disproportionate to its size. Citystreets has a history of progressive thinking and leading advocacy work. The fact that Citystreets would come out with such a strong politically targeted message that hits a resonate bull’s-eye is no surprise to people associated even peripherally with the group. And finally, the fact that Citystreets was not properly credited has caused the organization great harm.

Harris Silver


Think Tank 3

New York

Older Consumers: Ones to Watch

As a generational specialist, I read Barbara Lippert’s critique of the new Sony advertising [A&C, Dec. 2] with great interest.

With the notable exception of Sony, most marketers, their agencies and the media continue to ignore or mismarket to the older consumer, hewing reflexively to the 18-49 set as the holy grail.

This baffles me. First, older consumers have always been disproportionately affluent. Americans 50-plus, now 28 percent of the population, account for a whopping 77 percent of the nation’s wealth. And, by 2010, they will grow nearly 25 percent to become nearly one-third of the population. Hardly an obscure, unattractive niche market.

And as Lippert correctly points out, these are (and will increasingly be) boomers. Older consumers will continue to redefine “old age” as they’ve redefined every other life stage. Throw out the stereotypes—they don’t work. These are not your father’s grandparents!

Janet Stanton


Recca/Stanton & Partners

New York

Goodby: Great Place to Learn Advertising, Hair Care

I disagree with Peter Nicholson in “On the Spot” [Creative, Jan. 6] when he said that “going to Goodby as a junior is the worst decision a creative could ever make.”

I came to Goodby as a junior creative and I had the opposite experience than what he’s talking about. I learned from the people I believed to be the best creatives in the world. I learned how to write radio from Steve Dildarian, how to write TV from Gerry Graf and how to herbal condition my hair from Jeff Goodby. Have you seen that guy’s hair? It’s not beautiful by accident.

Bottom line, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is a great place for juniors. The senior creatives don’t glare at you as though to say, “Get out,” they help make things better.

Ian Kalman


Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

San Francisco