Letters to the Editor

Week of Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Slogan Cheering and Jeering

Takes one to know one: SF Weekly and Ms. Hegranes seem to employ some of the same tactics as we social marketeers when presenting the “Sloganeering” article [News, March 1]: attention-grabbing headline, controversial subtext and pull quotes; yet the emphasis on an unqualified grandstander like “22-year-old graduate student” Trevor Hoppe was an unfortunate choice for source material. I have had the good fortune to have worked on the “HIV Stops With Me” campaign for five years and need only browse the countless e-mails posted on the campaign Web site to see that this public health campaign is having an impact. I can probably offer no better evidence and would be delighted if the city had more funding in order to conduct independent evaluations if that would keep this project funded even at its current level, which, frankly, is quite meager. Steven Tierney was spot-on when describing social marketing, and we in San Francisco have been fortunate to have had someone at the helm in HIV prevention who gets it.

Mr. Hoppe might take a moment to peruse the résumé of the past SFDPH Office of AIDS executive director to see who ushered in “HIV Stops With Me” and then determine if defunding is the right action to take. Mr. Tierney, as well as a whole slew of other public servants, is not in this for the attention. When Mr. Hoppe was in diapers it was people like Mr. Tierney and Better World President Les Pappas who were paying dues and homing in on just how to fight this epidemic.

Ultimately there is not one message that will reach everyone, but to argue to take away funds is completely misguided and obviously the rantings of a youngster out to make a name for himself but forgetting to do his homework.

Ralph Sciutti
Better World Advertising
San Francisco

A new marketing idea — honesty: Thank you for your article “Sloganeering.” The billboard you speak of is offensive and marketing targeted shame. In a perfect world, that billboard would show a shot of a huge crowd with the words “Get Tested — Deal. Stop HIV Transmission.” Nothing passive-aggressive about that, no feelings get hurt, and most importantly, everyone is reminded that stopping the transmission of the HIV virus is a universal issue that affects us all.

Jenny Adair
San Francisco

Guns 'n' Roses

No moderates in the NRA: I'm a conservative, but kudos to [Dan] Siegler's GGNRA exposure [Puni, March 1]. In this city, you'd be surprised at how many folks say, “Well, I'm an NRA member, but a 'moderate' NRA member.” Which is like saying you're a moderate member of al Qaeda.

Remember the 1997 North Hollywood shootout where the police had to go to GUN STORES to match the weaponry of the criminals? Thank the NRA. Remember when the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire? Thank the NRA. No background checks at gun shows? Thank the NRA.

There was a reason when, in 1995, President H.W. Bush resigned his lifetime NRA membership. Simply put, the NRA, and the GGNRA, is a terrorist organization.

Craig Marks
San Francisco

Taking the high road: I'm totally against the NRA 1,000 percent. I'm a bleeding-heart liberal and proud of it. But I don't see what the point is of mass spamming them. The NRA has done some nasty things, but attacking them in that fashion is another example of “the ends justify the means.” Let's not stoop to their level.

Rae W.
San Francisco


In last week's cover story, “Oh, Pioneers,” a photo caption on Page 16 misidentified the Beau Brummels' manager, Rich Romanello.

And in last week's News story, “Sloganeering,” Better World Advertising President Les Pappas' last name was misspelled.

SF Weekly regrets the errors.

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