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Electric Irony

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To the editors:

Hank De Zutter modestly omitted the Reader from the ranks of the media in which Commonwealth Edison advertises ["The Electric Connection," December 1]. Our records show that over the past three years, Edison has placed 19 ads at a total cost of $17,475.54. (1987--5 ads--$4,278.05; 1988--8 ads--$7,264.92; 1989--6 ads--$5,932.57)

We thought your readers would be interested in this information.

Edward M. Peterson

Director of Advertising

Commonwealth Edison

Chicago

Hank De Zutter replies:

I didn't mention Com Ed's advertising in the Reader for two reasons:

(1) I didn't know about it. Com Ed's March 1987 report to the ICC on its 1985-'87 advertising expenses, my major source of information on the utility's advertising, listed more than 100 media getting Com Ed advertising; it made no mention of the Reader.

(2) Even if I had known about it, I probably wouldn't have mentioned it--except to prevent letters from those who delight in minor ironies. The Reader was by no means the only media outlet not mentioned, as the letters imply.

For reasons of space and emphasis I didn't mention media that received less than $20,000 a year in Com Ed advertising. This means I excluded about 90 percent of the media that carried Com Ed advertising in recent years; I didn't want to clutter the article or the accompanying chart. Com Ed's advertising budget is $3,600,000 a year--out of which the Reader got less than $6,000. The Tribune and the major Chicago TV stations average more than $500,000 a year.

I'm happy all this is now on the record. I find this a great opportunity to see what happens in the future. I urge Mr. Serna and others who keep a closer watch on Reader advertising than I: please note if Com Ed continues to advertise in these pages. It has canceled advertising in other media that have run unflattering articles.

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