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Commercial Suffering

November 22, 1987

Cineplex Odeon VP of marketing Lynda Friendly, who says the Diet Coke ad her company is test-marketing on moviegoers has generally received a favorable response, hasn't attended her theaters lately (Calendar Letters, Nov. 15).

Last month, we were bombarded with the Diet Coke ad during a performance of "Baby Boom" at the Brentwood Odeon. The full capacity audience (about 500 people) booed, hissed and otherwise made clear their distaste for double payment in a movie theater: once at the box office and once in the form of commercial suffering.

After the film, we complained to the management about the commercial and were told that we could send a letter to the Century City headquarters. Friendly sent us an immediate form letter, ignoring our complaints and centering on her company's "positive marketing research."

We are eager to see the details of these marketing surveys. Was the commercial shown as part of a first-run film or by itself? Where were the surveys done? Were the viewers paying customers? What age group was watching?

Our informal survey of friends and family who have been subjected to this blatant rip-off has revealed a 100% negative response, and a determination to boycott the Cineplex chain.

NINA LEIBMAN DONNEY

KENNETH HARRY DONNEY

Santa Monica

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