Rubbernecking Along Madison Avenue

Regarding your story "What happened to advertising?" (Cover Story, Sept. 23), it's unfortunate that in this time of managerial and budgetary scrutiny, advertising has taken a backseat to more "quick fix" sales and promotional solutions designed to provide "instant gratification" for pressured brand and sales managers. Perhaps corporate advertising is now seen as too frivolous, particularly when advertisers and their agencies seem to be increasingly playing it safe creatively: Clients may not want to jeopardize their reputations by being too daring (there may also be some sensitivity to consumer backlash), and the agencies feel the need to better protect their revenue base.

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