April 11, 2014

Carisa Bianchi


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Carisa Bianchi, the President of TBWA/Chiat/Day, is leaving after nine years. (That's 27 in "ad years.") She first became President in 2005, after a successful two-year stint running the San Francisco office.

She once wanted to work for the CIA, but wound up in advertising, which is pretty much the same thing. She first came to work at Chiat/Day in 1989. Perhaps the greatest account she ever worked on at Chiat/Day was what would become one of the most famous campaigns in advertising: the Energizer Bunny. It's still going. And going.

And, like the Energizer Bunny, Carisa herself is an avid runner.

She is so smart and talented, I like to fantasize that she is leaving to become Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, but that is only pure wishful thinking on my part! (Hillary, if you're reading this, give Carisa a ring.)

April 03, 2014

Scott Salmon and son


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Every once in a while, a car will come roaring up my driveway and I discover that Scott Salmon has come to visit me. And he often has his car packed with goodies for me from Trader Joe's. (I live in the sticks where nobody has even HEARD of it.)

Scott was a Print Production manager (working with me and Peter Franke) when we were at 666. Then he became a printing salesman, so he was a regular fixture in the office.

Here he is on a recent visit to the Catskills. That's his son, Shayne, to whom Scott is absolutely devoted. I don't think Shayne realizes how lucky he is to have a father as fun and caring as Scott.

April 02, 2014

Peter Franke needs a job!

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One of the things I dislike about advertising is that you are always one phone call away from catastrophe. A client cuts its budget or fires the agency, and suddenly your colleagues are putting their things into cardboard boxes.

This is what happened recently to Peter Franke. On or about St. Patrick's day, he was laid off from Geometry Global, where he had been Director of Production.

Some of you may recall that before I became the tech guru of Chiat/Day, I was head of Print Production. Peter and Scott Salmon both worked for me and in early March, I drove into town to have lunch with them, where they bought me a steak with Béarnaise sauce. Then Pete lost his job. So this layoff affects me personally. I need Béarnaise.

So pull out your address books, talk to your CEOs and HR people and help find Peter a new job.

I have worked with many fine people in my career. Peter is one of the best. I've attached his resume.

Here are his own words about recent events:

P.S. He mentions "Diana," who is his amazing wife.

I left C/D in Nov 92 after we lost the AMEX acct.

I sat around healing for a month or two and was asked to try my hand at sales by a web printer.

I did the sales thing for a year and then got hired at Dentsu 
to fix their Creative services depts.

That only lasted a year but it is where I met Diana.

I plunged back into sales and did that at a few places for the next 8 years or so.

During that time in "97", I started my own printing company that quickly turned into a Production Management company. (Many small agencies didn't have a budget for a real Production Manager, so I did that role for them gratis, while I bought all their printing and marked that up to make a few dollars.)

Worked out great until 9/11! when all the small places went out of business one by one.

Soooo, I got back into production on the corporate side working at AETV first and then at AMEX for a total of 6 years or so.

Suddenly a big job on the agency side opened up and I jumped at it, G2, that turned into Geometry Global back in July.

I was building a nice department when suddenly 2014 S. O. W. came out with drastic cuts on the print/offline side. 

St Patty's day shows up & "nice to know you, here's your envelope" happens.

And that's the story.

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Download resume

Steve Gordon

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Every once in a while, an alum just pops into my head and I track them down to find out what they're up to. The other day, the name "Steve Gordon" started making a frequent appearance in my brain. He was a stitch, always making us all laugh, at the same time doing great work. Here's the bio I coaxed out of him:

I joined Perkins/Butler in 1989, which became Chiat/Day Direct, which was then folded into Chiat. But you knew that. After leaving Chiat in 1992 ( I made Eve Luppert chase around the 15th floor, yelling to her, "you can't fire me, if you can't catch me" She caught me.)

After that, I had a short stint at Bastoni Barnes, when I got a call from Tim Beck, who was the Head of IT at Kirshenbaum & Bond. They needed a Studio Manager. Eventually becoming VP/Director of Digital Services, or something like that. I was there from 1993-2002.  From 2002-2004, I had some jobs that I'd rather not think back on. In 2005, after going through a near-death experience with pneumonia (2 weeks in ICU, doctors telling my wife, Marlee they gave me a 30% chance to survive,) I starting working at DiMassimo (now DiMassimo Goldstein, or DIGO) as both Studio and Print Production.

In late 2008 I went to Cossette, again doing both Studio and Production, reuniting with Bill Oberlander who hired me at K&B. After 18 months Cossette closed their door in NYC. The next eight months were tough, finally hooking up with Gotham in 2011. After three fun years, I am now at Serino/Coyne, who specialize in Broadway Theater Advertising as Director Visual Assets.

I married Marlee in 2003. who has a son, Justin, now 24, from a previous marriage. Together, we have a 10 yr old daughter, Madison. And our pug, Monty. Moved up to Ardsley in Westchester in 1998.

I've done some traveling through the years- Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Africa-climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1999.

Had a few Harley's. But after getting hit by a car for the third time (nothing serious-more of an inconvenience) I gave it up for good in 2008.

I always look back at my time at Chiat as some of the best times I've had in the bushiness. I do remember one time when I got food poisoning from a Chiat Christmas Party and trying to send an company-wide email on the Wang system. But I hit the wrong button and sent the note about me getting sick as a fax to our clients. You came down, and smacked me in the back of my head, not too hard though. More of a love tap. I also am a proud owner of a Franke Award shirt (which I lost years ago) for "Most likely to leave work to see a Dead show". Which was true.

Anyway, I hope this fills you in from 1993-2014.


Jane Newman to be inducted into Hall of Fame

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Jane Newman imported the concept of Account Planning from the U.K. to the U.S. She is, for all intents and purposes, the mother of account planning (and I mean that in the nicest way!) When she started at Chiat/Day, nobody knew what Account Planning was. Now it's almost a required position at every agency and most account planners can probably trace their roots back to Jane.

For her extraordinary contribution, the she is being inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame on April 9th. She is the first planner to be so honored.

Here is the invitation, which is in itself a treat to read.

Robert Chandler

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Robert Chandler was a copywriter for many years in the LA office. He has weird dreams. Here's his latest:

I saw Jay Chiat in a dream

early this still dark morning

I was at a party, an outdoor party, at the large house catty-corner to our old house on Tower Grove Drive

But it was the old house the way it had been before it was torn down and replaced 15 or 20 years ago

There were a lot of second and third tier Hollywood wannabe types at the party.

I was walking around the back garden when I ran into Jay.

He looked great, in his prime, silver haired, big but sardonic smile, wearing unusually colorful flowing clothes, though kind of mid-60s Hollywood

I asked him how he'd been, meaning what had it been like being being dead these past 12 years.

He said, "It's been a heuristic experience."

Which wasn't exactly his kind of word - it sounds a little pretentious - but not impossible that he would use it.

He said he'd see me later during the party. Like he wanted to check out the girl situation.

I woke up immediately after that encounter and had to look up "heuristic".

January 22, 2014

Patrick O'Neill

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Patrick O’Neill, who served as Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat/Day LA for 14 years, has left the company.

Happy 30th Anniversary, "1984"

Today is the 30th anniversary of the airing of the famous "1984" commercial for Apple Computer. It ran once, in the Super Bowl, and made history for the Mac, for Apple, and for Chiat/Day.

Here's a fine article about the making of the commercial, with lots of commentary from Fred Goldberg.

December 01, 2013

"Who Killed the Catchphrase"

A provocative article from the December 1st issue of the New York Times about Madison Avenue's fear of using catchphrases, like the immortal "Where's the Beef?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/fashion/who-killed-the-catchphrase.html

November 18, 2013

The passing of Marv Rich

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I received the news from his son, David, that Marv Rich, one of Chiat/Day's great ART DIRECTORS, died on Oct. 20. On December 1st, he would have been 79. (I made a mistake in the newsletter when I said he was a writer.)

He was a ubiquitous presence in almost every office. David managed to piece together a bio. Look at the incredible number of clients with which he worked. He also worked with some of the agency's best writers. He won many awards, including multiple Andys, Clios, IBAs, etc.

I can distinctly remember his "leprachaun" look. He was very talented and very kind and will be greatly missed.

Thank you to David Rich for going to so much work to put together all of this material for me. It really helps the wonderful memories return.

(Click to view the larger version)

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Marvinrich 90S

Marv in the 1990s.


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…and in the 80s.

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And in the hip 1970s!

Marvinrich Illustrations

November 15, 2013

Steve Jobs' ad

Many people remember that Steve Jobs founded Apple, and there was all this huzzah surrounding the launch of the the Mac. (The great "1984" commercial.)

But few people remember the dark side, 1986, the year that Steve Jobs was basically fired from Apple.

Using his own money, he ran this ad. I am eternally grateful to Chuck Phillips for sending this to me.


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November 14, 2013

Just Do What Fred Did

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Fred in his heyday.

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Fred and John Wayne on a shoot

All of you certainly remember Fred Goldberg, who ran Chiat/Day's San Francisco office, as well as founding his own agency. As reported earlier on this site, he has written a book: "The Insanity of Advertising."

Many of you will also remember Robert Chandler a writer and creative group head in the LA office from 1977-1981. He sent me his very own review of Fred's book, to which he places the first finger of each of his hands in an enthusiastically upright position.

JUST DO WHAT FRED DID

To Chiat/Day alum, to anybody in advertising, or who find advertising and marketing intriguing,

I commend to you Fred Goldberg's new memoir on his adventures in the ad trade, THE INSANITY OF ADVERTISING, to be published in January.

Fred and I worked on some of the same accounts and in some of the same places - notably Chiat/Day and Y&R on Apple and Gallo - but never at the same time.

I was always hearing about Fred, sometimes when he'd been at a place before me, sometimes when he'd gone on to a place I'd worked.

Fred, like Jay Chiat who figures large in his memoirs, has been both notable and controversial. And for similar reasons. He has a reputation as being very smart, very tough, and very demanding.

And being and doing so, he always got good results.

Fred inspired both admiration and trepidation, both affection and the opposite. But, that is almost always the arc of an outstanding career, if not absolutely always.

I've read two chapters of his book. The are engaging, straightforward and very readable. In each instance where I've known the subject or the people, I've found Fred's observations to be astute, accurate. And, particularly interesting to hear his perspective on things I knew from my own and others' points of view.

Fred went on to found a very successful agency, Goldberg, Moser & O'Neil of San Francisco.

I'm not necessarily a fan of books on ad biz, even when very good. And, I often have a peculiar aversion to reading about things I know a lot about personally. Perhaps through fear or anticipated annoyance that the writer is going to getting things a little or very wrong.

But, I have enjoyed Fred's chapters, and after having partaken of the hors d'oeuvres, look forward to the entire meal in January.

His promotional website is very good.

http://theinsanityofadvertising.com/

And here's the Amazon page.

http://tinyurl.com/mgvlwaw

Submitted by Robert Chandler, Chiat/Day L.A. writer and creative group head,
1977 - 1981

Chandler

And here are some spicy excerpts from Fred's book:

Jay hired me after a breakfast meeting at the Cheese & Olive in Marina del Rey. The next most memorable thing about that morning I was hired came after we shook hands. He said, “Come with me.” We walked across Ocean Avenue to a place called the Baja Cantina, where about 20 of Jay’s buddies and gal pals had gathered for brunch. It was only 11 a.m. and half of them were already drunk as skunks. The other half were high as kites. I thought to myself, what have I just done?

**********

At the end of 1985, Jay Chiat came up with one of his largest and most grandiose ideas. Why not buy two great creative advertising agencies, Ally & Gargano and Hal Riney, and create a new entity to be known as Ally Chiat Riney? This naming would likely be the only thing that the three companies might amicably agree upon since the names were in alphabetical order, thereby removing some of the political and emotional tension.
In many ways, this combination, Ally Chiat Riney, was a brilliant thought since it would have brought together arguably the three most creative agencies of the time, each a key player in an important advertising market: NewYork, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, respectively.
Not too much thought was given as to how Ally and Chiat and Riney might work together, well or not, but Jay offered that he would “run it.” Uh-huh. 

**********

John Sculley (ex–Apple Computer CEO) writes in his book Odyssey that he asked Chiat/Day, “See if there is a way to take advantage of the fact that 1984 was the year that George Orwell chose for his famous prophecy of a totalitarian regime in which Big Brother controls all of man’s actions and thoughts.”
Actually, the Orwellian idea had been bouncing around Chiat/Day well before Sculley even arrived at Apple. I will give him credit, though, for sometimes recognizing a good idea when he heard one, since the idea had been discussed as part of the product launch. 

**********

He wanted to see where we were at and upon looking at the very first ad threw a tantrum of disappointment and went on to crap on every single piece of advertising we had lined up around the conference room walls.
“Show me the work.”
“This is all shit.”
“What have you guys been thinking?”
“We’re in trouble.”
“This is shit.”
All of this was expressed at the top of Jay’s voice in an extremely irritated and condescending manner. Which was par for Jay’s course.
Everyone was sufficiently demotivated and tired, when Lee Clow asked Jay to take a stroll with him, which they did. Lee used that walk to speak persuasively and in his usual calm manner. “OK, asshole, you go present whatever you want.”
We all went to sleep and the next morning drove over to Apple and presented all of the work exactly as it was the night before. Of the 45 ads, 44 were approved for production.

All excerpts (c) by Fred Goldberg and Council Oak Books

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