Beckman and Giuliani symbols of ad/media business problem

Rothenberg, Randall
October 1999
Advertising Age;10/4/1999, Vol. 70 Issue 41, p36
Trade Publication
This article comments on the problem of the advertising and mass media industry concerning Richard Beckman, publisher of Vogue and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as of October 1999. Regarding Beckman, his Conde Nast superiors have been forced to ante up between $1 million and $5 million to compensate a saleswoman whose nose Beckman broke at a sales meeting. This shows that abuse--physical, sexual and verbal--common in the periodicals industry. That this is tolerated is a crime against the industry, the more so because magazine sales has become increasingly feminized. Conde Nast's response to the Beckman affair invites more such abuse. It is paying off his victim and requiring Beckman to seek counseling but not dismissing him or disciplining him further. With regards to Giuliani, the New York mayor's latest assault on free expression shows that, if elected to the U.S. senate, he will willingly endanger his city's economy, which rests heavily on the unfettered communication of ideas and information. Moreover, Giuliani has threatened to withdraw city funds from the Brooklyn Museum unless it dismantles a shock-art exhibition he doesn't like. Why should the mayor's fulminations concern the advertising and media industries? Because their ability to operate in an arena of free exchange is central to their survival.


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