LETTERS

LETTERS to the editor should be accompanied by a home and business telephone number so that they may be verified. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for brevity if necessary.Speech well-intentionedIn response to Mr. Nigel Beale's Opinion column of...

LETTERS to the editor should be accompanied by a home and business telephone number so that they may be verified. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for brevity if necessary.

Speech well-intentioned

In response to Mr. Nigel Beale’s Opinion column of Sept. 6 (‘Lack of communication breeds hostility,’) I will not dignify his article with a point-by-point rundown, but will, instead, concentrate on the one worthwhile piece of information imparted in the article – that magazines must promote the value and effectiveness of the medium for the advertiser.

Mr. Wallbridge’s speech, while strongly worded at times, was well-intentioned. Its primary purpose was to light a fire under the magazine industry. And in that, I believe, it has succeeded.

It is, however, equally necessary to point out that if Mr. Wallbridge feels that (some) magazines ‘hustle him,’ ‘play numbers games,’ etc., then it is incumbent on the magazine industry to help remedy this situation – this is one of those ‘perception-is-reality’ cases.

As his agency, we’ve prepared an exhaustive overview of the medium to help curb those ill-feelings, but to the extent that doubts remain, the magazine industry must become much better at promoting its effectiveness.

Certainly the reforming of Magazines Canada as a broader, industry-wide entity, and the forum at which Mr. Wallbridge spoke, were a start.

Bruce Baumann

Vice-President

Director of Media Services

Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising

Toronto

Colgate ad makes good impression

Congratulations to the creative team for the Colgate ad you highlighted in the Sept. 6 issue (‘Colgate ads in bad taste, says Crest.’)

It’s the best billboard I’ve seen this year. Simple, relevant and memorable through its wittiness.

Two people quoted ‘very unusual’ to describe the billboard. Yes, good comparative ads are very unusual in any category.

Mark Hilltout

Ogilvy & Mather

Toronto

Maclean’s piece irks reader

Re: ‘Maclean’s knows me like a book,’ by Sharon McMahon, Sept. 20.

I doubt if I’ve read anything more patronizing and condescending than Ms. McMahon’s flak attack against Time magazine.

It would be well to remember that the late Mr. Luce through Time magazine invented the news weekly format that Maclean’s so apishly follows.

I’m sure Maclean’s would have far fewer readers if there was one single Canadian competitor in that field. As it is, Maclean’s revenues are protected by the existence of the ‘Canadian culture’ tax laws.

The only people I know who read Maclean’s regularly, outside friends who work at the magazine, are friends who picked it up along with 10 or 12 other mags from a publisher’s clearing house.

Maclean’s was a welcome addition after all the gardening books, home decor, cookbooks, children’s books, TV Guide and Chatelaine, (which, no doubt, knows Canadians like a book) were already picked.

If Maclean’s knows Canadians like a book, it must be like a phone book, all data, no analysis.

It has been my experience, when I want in-depth analysis of the week’s events, I can trust Maclean’s to be about seven days behind. Which is handy if I’ve slept through the previous fortnight.

When I’m tired of critical reviews of Canadian entertainment and culture, I can trust Maclean’s to be obsequious and pandering.

I’m truly sorry that the sum total of the writer’s information about nafta, the environment, politics, etc., comes from Maclean’s alone. I’m afraid she could be open to media manipulation, and could be deadly dull at a cocktail party.

I’ll save my pennies for Time, Newsweek and The Economist, and continue to read Canadian dailies where Maclean’s gets most of its leads, anyway.

To sum up, it’s a shame to allow such a column to be printed that patronizes the readers of Strategy the same way Maclean’s patronizes its own readers.

Colin Caldwell

Canadian Media Connection

Toronto