Resisting and reinforcing stereotypes in ads

In the story on stereotypes in ads [“Realistic or Offensive?” Sept. 1], Howard Buford says about a Cadillac spot showing an African American singing Led Zeppelin, “That scene was so wrong.” Is he afraid of original thinking? Does this mean all Latinos listen to salsa and can’t enjoy hip-hop or jazz, or that Lenny Kravitz or Cody Chestnutt can’t represent the urban market because they are too rock ‘n’ roll? Mr. Buford should laud Chemistri for having the guts to show something outside the norm. Not everyone is a DJ, break-dances or plays basketball.

Efrain Oliva

Senior account executive


New York

Regarding Clorox’s Pine-Sol character, company rep Mary O’Connell insists, “We strongly disagree that she is in any way stereotypical.” But advertisers don’t get to decide what is and isn’t stereotypical. People make their own decisions based on their personal (and even biased) perceptions and experiences. Howard Buford thinks the character is stereotypical. So guess what? She is stereotypical—to at least one person. Actually, make that at least two people, because I’m with Mr. Buford. Sorry, Ms. O’Connell.

Vince Verdooren

Svp, group creative director

Burrell Communications


For the Record: In a story on new hires at Arnold [Sept. 8], a quote was incorrectly attributed. It was Will Burns, the new vp, group account director in new business, who said of Arnold’s review performance this year, “If you’re No. 2 in these big pitches, it needs a tweak, not an overhaul. [They’re] on the 1-yard line and need to punch it into the end zone.” Also, RTC Relationship Marketing is owned by WPP Group, not IPG. The strategy for DDB’s McDonald’s dollar-menu ads reviewed by Barbara Lippert [Aug. 18] originated at Leo Burnett in London, not DDB in Ireland.