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October 31, 2008

Steve Bland


There are many who will attest to the fact that even though he was (and is) a "suit", Steve Bland is a pretty good guy

And I will not say to them "nay," for today he made a generous donation to the continuation of this site.

Among other things, Steve works at Traffic with Tom Cordner. Both of them are furiously trying to create a renaissance for the Mitsubishi automotive division.

I had worked with him when he was in our New York offices.

If you'd like to be as great a person as Steve Bland or Bonnie Schwartz (see below) then click the button over there on the right that says "donate."

October 28, 2008

USC vs. UCLA Bone Marrow Challenge

Raise your hand if you have bone marrow. Now raise your hand if you live in Los Angeles. Ah-HAH! You're just the person alum Nancy Ullman is looking for.

It's all about donating bone marrow to save other lives. As Nancy points out "Jay graduated from the UCLA Executive Program, so I guess he'll be pulling for UCLA!"

Check it all out here.

October 26, 2008

Mojo bears

David Chapa sent me this photo of yet another one of the many trinkets we received as employees ...


David started in the LA office as the nightime Wang backup guy. He is now Director, Backup and Recovery Solutions
Solutions Marketing, for NetApp

He is also a published author! Get your copy of "Implementing Backup and Recovery" today!

Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie Schwartz, with Jessica Schulman Edelstein, as seen at the C/D 40th Reunion

Bonnie Schwartz has joined the pantheon of jayday philanthropists by making a significant donation to help defray the costs of maintaining this site.

Thank you, Bonnie!

You can be like Bonnie, too! Just click on the "Donate" button you see over there on the right-hand side of the screen.

Lauren Slaff

This note arrived a few weeks ago from Lauren Slaff, who is now a personal chef!

hi steve,

I am a ny chiat alum from 89-90.  was an entry level schlub who got her promised promotion after a year which rarely happens anywhere else.

have been grateful to have built friendships and professional relationships during my almost 2 years that lasted and are strong today.

am even having my old pal from 4th fl. reception devon burton come out to visit my home is podunk southwest colorado.

some of the best people I've met were c/d alum and I am proud to be one.

with warm regards,


Irene Hook




My first boss at Chiat/Day (1977) was Irene Hook, head of Print Production in LA. She was salty, funny, smart, and vivacious. Some of you may remember that her hobby was belly-dancing. She also introduced me to the joys of vendor lunches. (I believe her favorite drink was Scotch, but I could be wrong about that.) And then she'd come back to the office and have a little lie-down on the sofa in the ladies' room.

I was always grateful to her (and Sharon Stanley) for taking a chance on somebody who know absolutely nothing about the job for which he was being hired. My 17-1.2 year career there would not have been possible without these two women.

I'm sorry to report that Irene passed away on April 5, 2008. I had found her address in Apple Valley on the Internet and sent her a card. It was intercepting by her loving son, Tom, who contacted me and gave me the news of her passing.

I think of her often and am glad to have these pictures of share with you.

Steve Alburty

October 25, 2008

Tom Cordner


Today's alum spotlight is on Tom Cordner ...

Most of us wonder what it would be like to start your own agency. I did, but I lacked the courage to just do it on my own. I've never been afraid of a challenge. I started TeamOne with Saatchi on an unproven luxury brand. I then left the cozy environment of TeamOne after 15 years to go to Detroit's JWT to dig Ford out of a ditch. That was courageous, actually insane by most people.

I contend that every choice you make leads to other choices. After three and a half years and a number of significant Ford client changes they made a choice. In Detroit they don't fire agencies, they fire people. Their choice, me. So, I get a year sabbatical from JWT...they were very good to me in the process.

I spent a year finding out that I was over qualified for almost everything and not that I ever saw myself as a car guy, I was one now.

I talked to a great friend in Lee Clow and he turned me onto Rob Schwartz another great friend who in turn introduced me to Steve Bland. In August of 2007 Steve Bland introduced me to another guy, Bob Farina. He wants to start an agency as an adjunct to Cimarron (they do blockbuster movie trailers and dvd home sales). So, we talk and I'm asked to write a business plan, name the agency and have a positioning for the agency (I'm a freaking art director for chriss sakes).

I said, "go after down-n-dirty retail business (avoid pitching against big agencies)", thus the name 'Traffic', and tag line of "the fierce urgency of now" thanks to the venerable Martin Luther King Jr. In january 2, 2008 we start Traffic.

We pitched the launch of Toyota's credit card and won in January 2008. During the development of that work we got a call from SRI to pitch Mitsubishi. We pitched and won the business on June 11, 2008. I had no idea that the choice to leave TeamOne, going to Detroit would lead to unemployment where I actually considered retiring and the reality of that would lead to owning my own agency.

Am I lucky?... NO! Am I grateful?.... very.

Have I thanked 'Schwartzy'? .... yup (left him a message but don't know if he heard it. I'll kiss when I see him again just in case). Tom

October 24, 2008

A marketing study

Got a request from alum Sara Leiman for some help with a marketing survey.

Hi Steve

Have a question:

I just finished/ ready to release a syndicated media and marketing study (might be the first) of the federal marketplace! Wondering if you can to a post on the jayday.org web site on this ??

Below is a little more info... Its really exciting because my partner for this project and I have made arrangements out here for a formal presentation on the methodology and results and to date have 80 people signed up -- all very senior marketing communications titles from many of the military contractors, other ad agencies and media outlets. They have all been supportive and claimed no one else has done this.. Would like to believe that part is true; not quite sure yet.

Here is some general info on the study.. Please feel free to take a bit or all...


Earlier this year, Sara Leiman (VP President, Media and Research Services at Sage Communications) partnered with Market Connections to do a syndicated study of the federal market. The questionnaire for this study was fielded during Q2/Q3, the results have been tabulated, put online and will be released by the end of this month. This entire study was conducted online via email.

The main goal of this survey was to better understand the role that federal government decision makers play in the approval and acquisition of products and services, as well as their media habits. To accomplish this, we needed to develop a universe of mid to senior level federal employees/managers who would then access a single questionnaire from which we could look at both media and marketing information. Overall, the content of this study includes questions across four areas: demographics, job function, purchase area and finally media habits: print, online, radio and outdoor.

In lieu of using a list house where often a high percentage of names/ addresses are “undeliverable,” we opted to take 21 leading (and diverse) publications that address the government sector, all with BPA audits. As you know, BPA International provides an audit of publication subscriber lists annually, with statements issued twice a year. Fifteen of those publications agreed and sent us a representative 7% to 10% sample of their subscriber base in email address format. We specifically requested “federal file only; no state and local, no contractors or non-government.” I should add that one of these “publishers” included a web site (dedicated to news and information for government) with no print component.

After receiving the representative email addresses from all fifteen publications, this list netted down to a much larger group than we anticipated: 50,000 unique email names and address for the federal sector. The study was fielded towards the end of Q1 this year and we were quite pleased with nearly 3000 returns without the use of incentives!

This study (and the resulting data) has been divided into four sections :

• Demographics: Age, Education, Gender, Grade or Rank

• Employment: Civilian vs Defense agency, Title/ Function, Product/Service area of Purchase Responsibility with dollar volume)

• Media Usage: Print (30 publications), Web Sites and e-newsletters (34 web sites), Blogs, RSS Feeds, Webinars, Access to HTML, Podcasts, etc)

• DC Residents: Media usage extended to local newspapers, news weeklies, metro, radio stations

Below are some of the job functions and areas of purchase that were measured:

• Accounting, Budget, Finance
• Aircraft
• Communications/Telecommunications
• Engineering and Architecture
• Energy and Environment
• Executive and Command
• Facilities, Real Estate
• Fleet/ Auto
• Human Resources, Benefits
• Forestry, Wildlife and Environment
• Information Technology, Computers, Systems
• Law Enforcement and Public Safety
• Maintenance and Repair
• Medical, Health
• Office Equipment (copiers, fax, etc)
• Project, Program Management
• Procurement, Purchasing, Contracting
• Scientific, Mathematics, R&D
• Training, Education
• Travel Services
• Weapons/ Combat Systems

With all of the data on line, users will be able to cross-match any number of data points and produce reports. Examples might be title and function (or purchase area), crossed against publication readership or web site visits. Users will also be able to take demographics and match those against specific purchase areas or job functions. While print as an advertising medium is less of a question for most in this market, the information gained from the questions and responses regarding online usage have been very interesting.

There will be a formal presentation on the release of this study and there is no charge to attend. We will be sharing additional information along with some sample data runs. The presentation will be at the Tower Club (Tysons area, McLean, Virginia ) on October 31st from 8 AM – 10AM. Please use the the link below to register:




Sara Leiman
Vice President Media Services
Sage Communications LLC
8229 Boone Blvd
Vienna, VA 22182

Of course, I'm hoping this survey reals what an important role the jayday website plays in the federal arena.

October 22, 2008

Barbara Overlie and Val Maiquez


When I was in Los Angeles for the reunion (pictures are coming soon, I swear!) I had the good fortune to have lunch the next day at TBWA/Chiat/Day with Barbara Overlie.

Barbara started out as a "biller." Then she became "Finance Manager." Well, now she is the big cheese of the whole magilla: she is the friggin' CFO!

She has been at the agency for 23 years, which, from my estimate of when I was sitting in the office watching employees walk by, is about the average age of the people who work there!

Barbara is married to Ed Yost, another C/D alum. He was an editor at Midtown Post (aka VBE). She is one of the most endearing people I've ever met. Sweet face, sweet voice, and the sense that she'd adopt any stray kitten that came her way.

The other guy in the photo is Val Maiquez. You should consider yourself special if you knew Val, or, as we used to call him "Disco Bal." He is Accounts Payables Analyst. Val has been there for 29 years!

In the old days at the Biltmore, we used to forward calls from vendors looking for payment to Val. His accent was so thick, the vendor could not understand what he was saying and would usually just give up and wait for their check. (Val probably did more for cash flow at C/D than anyone else.)

Barbara told me that Val is the "caller" at the company bingo parties!

October 17, 2008

Alex Karras and his tutu


I am sitting in Chuck Phillips' apartment in Vancouver, where I have just hooked up his new printer and scanner. His first effort? A photo he had lying around in his apartment of a tv shoot (circa 1970) for Novus Watches which featured the famed football player, Alex Karras.

The other guys in the photo? That's Chuck sitting on the floor on the left and Hy Yablonka standing just to the right of Karras. And David Murphy is the guy in the striped shirt on the left. Plus C/D's Broadcast Producer and the director, who names Chuck does not recall.

Chuck says that after the shoot, Karras asked if he could have the tutu. Chuck asked why and Karras said he was going to wear it at a black tie dinner he was hosting.

October 15, 2008

Chiat/Day Reunion Photos

Some of you may have been repeatedly checking the site looking for news and photos of the recent C/D 40th Anniversary Reunion in LA. The problem is, your editor (me) is still on holiday and I am currently in Squamish, British Columbia, headed towards Whistler. A good Internet connection is hard to come by.

But here are two great photos sent to me by C/D Employee #1, Chuck Phillips, who was also one of the hosts of the party.

Hy Yablonka, Chiat/Day's very first art director.

Says Chuck ....

He was one of the 4 founding partners of chiat/day (tom burr was the other). jay and guy were majority shareholders. tom and hy were minority partners. hy was the first creative director of the company. he found and hired lee clow.

Chuck Phillips and me.

More photos (I promise) as soon as I get back to the States.

Steve Alburty

October 09, 2008

The reunion in LA

I know you're all chomping at the bit to hear about the reunion. I'll post more later, as I'm on the road right now. But over 100 people attended, including Lee Clow, Laurie Coots, Roger Livingston (former head of Seattle office), Steve Rabosky, Keith Bright, Bob Kuperman, Colette Chestnut, Carol Madonna and ... my personal favorite, Hy Yablonka, who was C/D's first art director!

Andrew Edelstein (Jessica Shulman's husband) took tons of photos and as soon as he sends them to me, I will post them here.