July 4-11, 2005

False Advertising
Your article about the intrigue at Saatchi & Saatchi [“Cheerio!,” by Stephen Rodrick, June 20] unwittingly illustrated the success of the company’s work on the General Mills account. We saw a full-page photo of a Cheerios box, which prominently features the words “whole grain,” and read that General Mills developed Honey Nut Cheerios to appeal to “the health-conscious mom.” But Honey Nut Cheerios has only two grams of dietary fiber per serving, a gram less than regular Cheerios.
—Norman Oder, Brooklyn

Kudos to Stephen Rodrick’s in-depth report on the shake-up at Saatchi. Too often, advertising’s elite find a way to cheat subtlety. What used to be a somewhat dignified business has been reduced to showboating, top-down brand-shitters like Kevin Roberts.
—Felix Sockwell, Maplewood, N.J.

No. 1 Mom
The only thing more satisfying than writing a letter expressing my disgust for Alpha Mom [“Empire of the Alpha Mom,” by Randall Patterson, June 20] was being able to see other readers express their disgust for her persona. Otherwise, I would have been worried to raise my children in a world like hers.
—Tovah Heller, Manhattan

As a psychotherapist and Upper East Side mother of four, I am all too familiar with Über-parenting and the cycle of perfectionism and guilt. But is it necessary to chastise someone whose main crime is being psychologically unsophisticated while wealthy? Just imagine if a man wanted to start, say, a network entirely devoted to sports. Oh, the frivolity of it all.
—Rebecca Land Soodak, Manhattan

I think Isabel Kallman’s capitalistic views have warped her maternal instincts. Someone should remind her that her moneymaking muse is actually her flesh and blood, not a Cabbage Patch Kid. I predict that her husband will leave her for one of the nannies.
—Tamara Lynch, Rego Park

I know Isabel Kallman. She approached me to be one of the mommy moguls in an Alpha Mom segment (I own an organic-cotton baby-clothing business). I was impressed with her environmental interests. She’s not the mom-zilla your writer depicted, but rather a multifaceted woman, a devoted wife and mother who has chosen to focus her formidable intelligence on helping other women bond with their children and enjoy the experience of motherhood. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
—Lynda Bridges Fassa, Westchester, N.Y.

We’ve had months of personal experience with Isabel Kallman and Vicky Germaise while developing our contribution to the channel. Both women have wholeheartedly supported our approach, which stresses the unattainability of perfection and seeks to help mothers gain confidence as they navigate family life.
—Lisa Spiegel and Jean Kunhardt, Co-directors of Soho Parenting, Manhattan

One More Time
I was dismayed to see the quote attributed to me in “Party Lines” [by Jada Yuan, June 13]. The Time Warner Center has enlivened Columbus Circle. In addition to providing a venue for entertainment, culture, and retail, it enhances the city’s vitality and stature with a significant work of architecture. I hold the highest respect and admiration for the architect David Childs and his team at SOM.
—Richard Meier, Manhattan

In Harmony
We’re deeply saddened to read about John Hardwicke’s life [“The Choirboy,” by John Heilemann, May 30]. But the American Boychoir School of both Hardwicke’s and Lessig’s youth bears no resemblance to the institution that we graduated from. None of the allegations put forth by his lawsuit were even remotely evident during our tenures. Our experiences were filled with incredible role models who instilled discipline, confidence, and values into our lives. Now the school that gave us so much is under siege. Should Hardwicke succeed in his mission to destroy it, he may find satisfaction. It is unlikely, however, that he’ll ever find solace.
—Ryan James O’Connor, ABS ’97, Bronxville, N.Y.
—Nathaniel Ward, ABS ’98, Washington, D.C.

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July 4-11, 2005