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Penny-Pinching Can Be Good in Ad Business

December 23, 1990

I read Bruce Horovitz's column "Attack of the Belt Tighteners: Horror Stories About Agency Cost Cutting" (Nov. 27), and I was thoroughly disgusted with it.

I run a small advertising agency that bills about $2 million. At the same time, I'm advertising manager for five automobile dealer associations and collectively manage about $20 million.

What you call "penny-pinching antics" of clients is considered good business by any professional advertising manager.

Advertising agency people seem to have an exaggerated sense of their importance and often waste their clients' money, especially when it comes to production costs, photography and collateral materials.

My job is to protect the client, and believe me, it is frustrating to have to send bill after bill back to the various ad agencies to ask "why we have to pay this" or "why did you spend that?"

The only part of your column that made any sense was Robert Elen's comments about his decision to give up an account rather than cut his agency's commission.

Your job as a columnist is to be objective, and in this case you really blew it.


The writer is president and "chief penny-pincher" of Mickey Garrett & Associates Inc. in Los Angeles

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