I got a great email the other day from someone who worked at Chiat/Day all the way back when it was on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles (which is where I started.) Ladies and gentlemen: David Murphy, who is now CEO of Proficient Software ...
I worked at Chiat/Day from 1975-80, opened the San Francisco office, the first one, with Chuck Phillips. Came across the JayDay site tonight and am very pleased to see such a great effort to keep people in touch with each other. Anyone, I mean anyone, who worked at C/D at any time knew what Jay was about. I had left a very cushy job at JWT to go to C/D because of the work. My first day, Jay got into a very heated argument and fired the only client I was working with. It's a great story. The offices on Olympic were really something. From the outside, dirt parking lot, graffitti on the building, etc. it looked like a ghetto. The inside was gorgeous. Incredible hardwood floors, plants everywhere and awards, Belding bowls everywhere. When Jay asked me what I thought, I told him it was like shining the inside of your shoes. I had the incredible experience of Jay, Lee was the Art Director and Mark Doyle was the writer. Extraordinary times, incredible stories.
It's unfortunate that it wasn't until I heard that Jay died that I realized what an incredible impact he had on a young "suit". As you may recall, with Jay...it was about the work. I'm one of the only guys I know who went into the agency business on purpose, received great training at JWT, but came to know of C/D and if I really wanted to be apart of the creation of truly great advertising there was only one place to work.
Botsford Ketchum and C/D were the finalists for the consumer products division of Nat'l Semiconductor. C/D had the microprocessor division and won the consumer side as well. I had been recruited by Botsford to run the Blitz Weinhard beer business and when they didn't get the NOVUS business I learned about C/D from Botsford. My next call was to Jay. Much to my surprise he took the call. I asked him if it was anticipatory on my part to assume that C/D would be opening a SF C/D office to service the business. Jay's response was classic Jay. "Who the f... are you and how did you find out. ". Jay had been called 15 minutes prior to my call to him. He had not even announced it to the agency.
I have some incredible memories of C/D, Jay, Lee, Chuck, many of the other people, the clients and "the work".