Feedback 08/03

Letters from our readers
5 min read

This story appears in the August 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Getting Paid
In your June 2003 issue, you reported an often distorted figure on the "It Figures" page. In the section "Woman's Work," you stated that "76 cents is the amount a woman working full time earns for every $1 her male counterpart earns."

While I am a Democrat and feminist supporter, I urge a closer look at this figure, as do many sociologists and economists. June O'Neill, former director of the , found that among people ages 27 to 33 who have never had a child, 's earnings approach 98 percent of men's. Additionally, 's Jane Waldfogel found that the between mothers and nonmothers was greater than that between men and women at age 30.

The largest factors accounting for this disparity: motherhood (on average, women are out of work longer periods of time than men), job segregation ("female" industries such as education pay less than "male" industries), and the glass ceiling effect (the miniscule amount of women at the top of the wage scale skews the women's wage median down). Discrimination and still exist in the workplace; however, progress on creating increased equality between men and women can only be achieved through the thorough analysis of raw data, not vague stats.

Ryan Ozimek
Washington, DC

Spam by Any Other Name
In June "Net Sales," you forgot one of the most aggravating forms of spam out there: the "affiliate " e-mail. The address I am writing from gets bombed with it. These affiliate advertisers are paid a fee to send e-mail to people who have allegedly opted into their mailing lists or any mailing list at some point in time. The service offered in the e-mail may be legitimate, but the advertising vehicle is not. I get plenty of third-party commercial spam; I never signed up with a single one of these supposed advertisers. I think if a business does some research, they'll find that "affiliate marketing" costs them more business than it brings in.

Often, the e-mail is perceived as spam and deleted as such even if someone did originally sign up for something. The advertised product's image suffers, and its ISP may get spam complaints. I know-I've sent enough of them.

I have also sent complaints to the Better Business Bureau about advertised companies that have refused to pull spammed ads and to assorted consumer protection departments about ISPs that refuse to shut down third-party e-mailers. You can bet I'll never buy any of the products advertised by these so-called affiliates.

Spam is an act of theft, make no mistake about it. It is the use of someone's resources without their permission. If you must use third-party affiliate advertising, all I can say is, be very, very careful about whom you hire. Check references. Check spam complaints. Check black-hole lists. Their reputation is about to be linked with yours. If in doubt, don't do it. It's not worth it.

Ruth M. Hanschka
Via e-mail

Won't Take "No"
I love your magazine and read it from cover to cover the day it comes in the mail. After reading "Getting Past 'No'" by Barry Farber ("Sales Success," June), I was extremely motivated to get my handmade spa products into local stores. I took your advice and ventured out with Niki Leigh spa products and lots of confidence.

I am happy to report they are now in five Charleston, South Carolina-area boutiques and one five-star spa on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. I also have a New York City boutique and an Atlanta spa interested in carrying this unique line. It is incredible how easy it is to turn a "no" into a "yes." Thank you for giving me the courage to try.

By the way, I donate 25 percent of Niki Leigh profits to The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, and yesterday I presented them with their first check for $500!

Robin Berlinsky
Niki Leigh
Charleston, South Carolina

Cultural Revolution
I read your June "Tactics" column and was very impressed with your insight and belief in the U.S. Latin market. I agreed 100 percent with everything you wrote about; it sounded like you were writing about my company! My partners and I began our business by servicing record labels and movie studios and are now moving into the consumer goods market. Your article is helping to keep the motivation going.

Alfredo Malatesta
Liberator Media
Los Angeles

Something To Ad
I read with great delight Jerry Fisher's article in the May issue, "The Cat's Meow" ("A+ Ads"). Mr. Fisher's kind remarks about our ad are truly appreciated. One point I would like to add to the article: The credit for the development of this ad must be shared with our ad agency, Gish, Sherwood & Friends, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gary Feder
Director of market planning and communications
Hunter Fan Co.
Memphis, Tennessee

The Article That Keeps on Giving
I know this article was written more than a year ago, but I just came across it online and wanted to thank you for publishing it on Isabella Trebond's "Creative Marketing on a Shoestring" was just what I needed! Not only was it a great piece of writing, but she also came up with marketing concepts I never dreamed of. You just saved me a fortune. Keep up the good work!

Jeff Crilley Dallas

Correction: The June "Tactics" column said that when the "Got Milk?" campaign moved into Mexico, the phrase was translated into Spanish as "Are you lactating?" In fact, the phrase was never translated for use in the campaign.

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