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September 25, 2008

Missing alums

Does anybody know how to get in touch with Tom Patty or Gene Cameron? They should be at the upcoming party, but I have no way of contacting them.


September 23, 2008

Nancy Ullman

I've been exchanging a lot of email with SuperFan Nancy Ullman recently as we all get ready for the 40th Anniversary Reunion Party ...

After leaving Chiat/Day I worked in the PR/Marketing department of the CaliforniaMart before deciding to stay home and raise my 3 boys, now age 18, 17, and 14. I keep myself busy though. Currently, I am working with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to hold a large scale bone marrow drive here in Los Angeles. I am Project Coordinator of the UCLA vs. USC Bone Marrow Challenge, which is set to be held in early November. Looking forward to the reunion! Nancy Ullman

Nancy also wrote up a wonderful reminiscence about one of the best offices we ever worked in, the warehouse:

Dinosaurs, Coronas, and Pink Bunnies

I was a phone receptionist in the LA warehouse from 1988 to 1990. The experience stayed with me for years, literally. For over a decade, every time I’d see, or hear a 3-digit number, one of your names would pop into my head. It felt like your phone extensions were permanently etched into some dark corner of my brain.

Chiat/Day was my first job out of college and even though my salary was painfully modest: the excitement, the perks, and the access to so many talented people made it worthwhile.

Who could complain? Our Holiday party was thrown under the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and every Friday afternoon at 4:00 we had chips, salsa, and Coronas. It was a great job. And, like many of you, I knew it was special.

In the 2 short years I worked at Chiat/Day we were named Ad Agency of the Year, and then, Ad Agency of the Decade—isn’t it amazing what hiring the right receptionist can do?! You can thank Sharon Stanley for the hire and also for this unsolicited trip down memory lane.

So much seemed to happen at 320 Hampton Drive. I remember the agency screening of the first Energizer Bunny ad. Who knew how much longevity that silly little pink bunny would have? I saw it. I liked it, but wouldn’t have guessed it would be around for long as it has. Who would have predicted that twenty years later, our kids would know the Energizer Bunny and I’m confident that our grandchildren will too. Well done Dick Sittig. I hope you are still continuing to amaze.

In the warehouse, creativity was not only encouraged, it was nourished and cultivated. It didn’t take long before I found myself longing to be a copywriter and soon began to take copywriting classes after work. I believe it was Brian Belefant who told us students that the best ideas are so simple you will think; “That’s easy. I could have come up with that.” Yet, it didn’t take long for me to realize that great ideas just don’t fall off trees.

One of the things I loved about our offices was that there was no sense of rank or hierarchy—everyone had the same size cubical. I used to go into Bob Kuperman’s office and he’d appease me by assigning me work on current projects. Unbelievable. The phone receptionist had secret copywriting missions. Some days I would stop by Lee Clow’s office and ask him if he could take a look at what I was working on. He’d always indulge me and never made me feel beneath his great presence—he was always so terrifically unassuming.

I left Chiat/Day in 1990, the same year I gave birth to my first son—unfortunately, I had a terrible case of morning sickness and I knew my boss at the time, Hank Antosz, deserved better. It was an agonizing decision.

In the end, I never had the opportunity to pass under those huge binoculars. My memories of Chiat/Day will forever stay in that magnificent warehouse. It was supposed to be a temporary space, while we waited for the real deal. Yet somehow, I think it was the real deal all along.

The Susan D. Goodman grant

(c) Martin Basher

C/D NY Alum Susan Goodman has taken the JayDay principles to heart! Here's the email I received from her a week or so ago:

I thought you’d like to know that Jay’s influence on my life continues to take on new meaning. From the “if you want to honor Jay’s memory” eulogy at the New York gathering of employees after his death, I took the “you could support a young artist” suggestion (I also took the “give your doorman $100 for no reason” suggestion) and some months later started to collect the art of young artists.

Five years later I began to reexamine the meaning of “support a young artist”, thinking that it might mean more than buy, show and share their works. This year I established the Susan D. Goodman grant which in its first year offers a four-month stipend and living/working arrangements in Berlin for a recent Columbia University MFA graduate. Our first recipient, Martin Basher, will go to Berlin in September for four months. I’ve attached a link to an article that was published in Berlin today which mentions Jay and his influence on my collecting. And I pasted the press release about the grant below.

I hope you are well.

All the best


Susan D. Goodman
Chairman & CEO

Here is the article in the original German. And here is a rather clumsy translation courtesy of Google Translate.

September 21, 2008

More alums vanish

I've lost valid email addresses for ...

Evert Eden (a.k.a. Evert Cilliers, a.k.a. "Atomic Ant"), Simon Bax, and Ally Longfield,

Judi Chandellor

This lovely email arrived today from Judi Chandellor, who is coming to the C/D 40th Anniversary Party on Oct. 7th.

Hi Steve,

I had the pleasure of working in the “Jay” years from 1987 through 1990. My first “official “ meeting of Jay was at a company bowling party in Korea town in 1988 where he looked at my name tag and called my Judi “Chandelier”. (instead of “Chandellor) My co-workers at the time thought it was hysterical and called me that ever since.

When we moved from the Biltmore to the warehouse in Venice I shared an office with Tom Carroll when he was an account supervisor. He’s moved up a bit since then. I was in Print Traffic at the time and I remember interviewing with you Steve for a position in IT. My good friend Gary Sanchez got the job instead.

I am now back at Chiat for the past three years and still know people from my first tour. I’m working with Elaine Hinton and Richard O’Neill in broadcast now and love it.

Judi Chandellor
Senior Business Affairs Manager

September 17, 2008

Chiat/Day 40th Anniversary Reunion


In case you somehow missed the news, there will be a big reunion in LA on Tues., Oct. 7th, to mark the exact date 40 years ago when Chiat/Day first opened its doors.

You all should have received an invitation via Evite. If you did not, please contact me at the address shown above in the masthead.

Everybody who is anybody is going to be there.

Steve Alburty

P.S. There is rumor going around that the man after the "/" will be making a rare public appearance! Oh, and Hy Yablonka will be there.

Jim McClintock

A hale and hearty welcome to formerly lost alum Jim McClintock. Jim worked at C/D from 1991-2000. He began as AMD on Nissan Regional, left as National Media Director on Nissan when he departed for a client job at ABC where his currently Senior VP of Network Media.

And Jim will be at the 40th Anniversary Reunion in LA, so he's extra-special.

September 16, 2008

Debra Chiat and Myanmar

That's Debra on the right, helping set up a temporary school in a monastery.

One of Jay's daughters, Debra, lives in Rome with her husband, Alfredo, and four children. For years, they have been running a humanitarian organization called SHARE - Human Life Project.

They work in Rwanda, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Morocco - helping to create and support schools, combat malaria, build wells, and create professional training programs in Natural Medicine.

Debra wrote to me today to say that she and Alfredo have just returned from Myamar where they were granted permission by the government to visit the delta where the cyclone "Nargis" hit. (This is EXTREMELY rare for the government there to allow any international aid access.)

The organization is in great need of money to help provide the survivors of the cyclone to rice, oil and other needed food as well as to cover the cost of pots and other basic kitchen needs. And then comes the job of building schools.

Here is a pdf file outlining the challenges facing them. Here is how you can help out. You can email Debra at ...


... or send a non-negotiable cheque payable to:
Associazione Share - Human Life Project, via dei Ramni 38, 00185 Roma
or authorize a bank transfer to the following account:
n. 2256/55, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Roma ag. 17, CIN: C - ABI: 5696 - CAB: 03217

Remember to include your personal details and the purpose of your offer.
Share is a non profit making association: your offers are tax deductible!

September 07, 2008

Newly missing alums

As Dorothy Gale once said, "My, people come and go so quickly around here!"

As a result of a recent general mailing to all of you, several alums have gone missing. If you know where they are, please turn them in:

Scott Marticke, Mick McCabe, Maria Carmazzi, Ally Longfield

There are two reasons why this happens: 1) most people give me their work address. Hey people, this is ADVERTISING! It's always best to provide a home address instead. 2) A lot of people are finally giving up their old "AOL" addresses. I am never notified about the change to whatever high-speed service you've joined.

September 05, 2008

Microsoft Ad

The inexplicable new Microsoft ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates.

September 02, 2008

Jay and the Pope


I have been having a wonderful round of email conversations with Nancy Ullman, who was a receptionist at Chiat/Day from 1988-1990. She has promised to provide me with a personal post about herself, but in the meantime, she has sent me an incredible photo ...

I believe the picture above was taken in 1989 when Chiat/Day merged with Mojo. The nametags read, "Chiat/G'day." At the merger party they had life-size black and white cut-outs of Jay and Lee, but I couldn't see posing with the cut-outs when the real guys were in the room. So, Lydia Lopez, Carol Madonna and I rounded up the big guns for the photo op, and as you can see a few others joined in.

A true testament to the times, my big 80's bangs almost obscure the view of the Pope--whom you've probably guessed by now wasn't actually in town for our big merger. The guy behind the hair was a hired Papal impersonator, who as I remember it, had a few people fooled.

Nancy Ullman

Thank you, Nancy, for taking the time to scan this photo and to send it to me for all of us to enjoy.

The Centaur

This gets my vote for the weirdest commercial on the air. It was produced by Weiden + Kennedy. I hope I'm not accidentally insulting any former C/Ders. But really, what were they thinking?

(If I'm not mistaking, the horse is a mare.)