Trials and tribulations of foreign-born execs

While it’s important for foreign-born agency executives to understand the cultural nuances of the U.S. [Careers, Oct. 20], I believe it is just as important for them to take advantage of their origins to shape, influence and facilitate a client’s message to the marketplace.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen companies try to take the message they launched in Europe and apply it in Southeast Asia, South America and North America. Among U.S. companies, there seems to be a feeling that what works here must work everywhere. If we expect expatriates to assimilate in the U.S., then companies should put just as much effort into understanding that doing it the American way or the Germany way isn’t always in everyone’s best interest, especially their own.

Mark Lesselroth

Director of business development

Eric Mower and Associates

Syracuse, N.Y.

I’ve worked on the account side and in agency management in London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and New York. Over time, I’ve found that a healthy level of sensitivity, a well-developed sense of humour (apologies, that should be humor) and an enhanced awareness of the importance of correct local spelling make for an easier immersion into a new business culture. Certainly, the friendliness of New Yorkers generally and Ogilvy New York specifically has made an enormous difference to my first 12 months or so working in the U.S.

Iain Hunter

Direct design

OgilvyOne Worldwide

New York

For the Record: The teen- marketing report [Oct. 20] should have stated that the WB’s Dawson’s Creek, not 7th Heaven, was canceled.

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