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January 31, 2010

Eggs Benedict via Skype video



One of the many things I miss about living in NYC is that Laurie Coots would get together on occasional Sundays and enjoy Eggs Benedict. Now I live 125 miles north. What to do? Laurie came up with the idea: Skype Video. So we met online today at noon and each made Eggs Benedict in our respective homes and shared the experience via Skype Video.

Tasty! And fun!

January 29, 2010

Jeff DeJoseph

I neglected to welcome Jeff DeJoseph to the alum list. Jeff worked at C/D NY and then went off with Bob Jeffries to found their own agency. Welcome, Jeff!

Jennifer Hammond

Welcome Jennifer Hammond!

I am in the class of 1987-1992.  I worked with Pam Keehn on the Nissan truck business..

Founders' Day

Here's a great submission from Chuck Phillips:


Tom Burr and Hy Yablonka, the two surviving original partners of Chiat/Day, reminisce today at Hy's palatial home in Orange California. I was lucky to be there.


P.S. from Steve. Here's some additional historical reference from Chuck:

Tom Burr was Guy Day's minority partner, and Hy Jay's, when, they merged their two agencies into Chiat/Day in 1968. Tom was chief suit, Hy was Jay's creative partner and the person who spotted and hired Lee Clow. Burr left in the mid 70's to join the two Mels (Abert and Newhoff) @ Abert, Newhoff and Burr which had a 17 year run in LA. After that fine agency was torpedoed by two bankrupted clients (Laker Airways being one), Tom joined Hakuhodo (world's 8th highest billing agency) first in LA and later NY. He retired after 14 years there. With Lee firmly in command in LA, Hy joined me at C/D S.F. in the early 80's before leaving to become CD of all automotive advertising for Bozell in Detroit.

January 27, 2010

Michael Niles

Another alum found! Michael Niles.

I was an account guy at the LA office in 1984-1985. Although I was only there a relatively short time, I came away with a lot of memories, quite a few stories and many new friends.

He now works for an agency in Santa Clarita called Great Day Advertising, which is just about the best name I've ever heard of for an ad agency!

January 25, 2010

Robin Raj and Martin Grant

Welcome in from the cold, alums Martin Grant and Robin Raj!

Tom Phahlert,

New jay/day member Dennis Juett informs me that his friend Tom Phahlert passed away several years ago, so I have on the "Lost and Found" list, I have created a third section, "In Memoriam." If you see any members on the list who have passed away, please let me know. (My email address is at the top of this page.)

Steve Alburty

January 23, 2010

Bob Dion's funeral

All of Bob's sons managed to make it, as did Keith Bright and Shelley Menning and Hal Maynard. But here's the best part: Bob is now buried in the same cemetery as Frank Sinatra. The two of them are probably having a drink and a cigarette right now.


Guy Day's obit from the LA Times

And here is Guy's obituary from the Los Angeles Times.

Guy Day's obituary from the Wall Street Journal


A Mercurial Advertising-Industry Pioneer


Guy Day was co-founder of the breakthrough Los Angeles advertising agency Chiat/Day, renowned for creative campaigns such as the "1984" commercial introducing Apple's Macintosh computer.

Chiat/Day employees were reputed to work so hard that they sometimes sported T-shirts with the message "Chiat/Day & Night."

But Mr. Day, who died Jan. 16 at age 79, had a mercurial relationship to theadvertising profession, leaving more than once for years-long sabbaticals during which he painted and wrote fiction.

"I work, then I screw off, then I work, then I screw off," Mr. Day told Adweek magazine in 1989.

Founded in 1968 in Los Angeles by the merger of two smaller agencies, Chiat/Day established a reputation for innovative, iconic work such as the Nike "I Love LA" campaign featuring billboards of Olympic athletes. Mr. Day became president of the agency, the story went, as a result of a coin toss.

Within the agency, Mr. Day and Jay Chiat were as different as night and day, those who worked with them say. Mr. Day was a perfectionist who ground out projects, while Mr. Chiat was more visionary and ambitious.

"Guy made me sane while Jay made me crazy. He taught me a lot of things—like how to understand Jay," Lee Clow, a long-time employee and now chief creative officer of TBWA\Chiat\Day, said. He added, "I probably wouldn't be here if it weren't for Guy."

By 1978, Mr. Day had wearied of the grind and retired.
"It's a very personal thing, but I felt I'd done as much as I could in the advertising business," he told the Los Angeles Times at the time.

After working on a never-published novel, Mr. Day returned as "free-lance president" to Chiat/Day in 1982 amid crisis as billings plummeted while Mr. Chiat was opening a New York office. Several big new clients including Apple and Nike were soon on board and billings tripled over the next three years. Mr. Day retired again to write in 1986, then made two more brief comebacks, this time with different firms.

Chiat/Day in 1995 was acquired by a larger Madison Avenue firm, the Omnicom Group.

Born in Chicago in 1930, Mr Day briefly studied journalism at the University of Missouri, served in the Army during the Korean War, and started off in the mail room of a New York advertising agency. He moved to Los Angeles, and in 1962 opened his first agency, Faust/Day.

Six years later, he met with Mr. Chiat, who died in 2002. According to company lore, the two talked for less than an hour while watching a baseballgame at Dodger Stadium, then decided to merge their agencies. They flipped a coin to decide who would lead the combined firm.

On a company Web site memorializing Mr. Day, Laurie Coots, his secretary then and now chief marketing officer of TBWA\Worldwide, TBWA\Chiat\Day's parent, wrote, "Nobody was ever really sure whether being named President was the result of winning, or losing the coin toss—but it set the stage for the total distaste for hierarchy and any trace of organizational politics."

Email remembrances@wsj.com

January 22, 2010


I got myself into quite a pickle last week. While trying to process the news of Bob Dion's death, and then Guy Day's death, I got e-ttacked by two women to took great offense to my earlier email which chastised people for not submitting more comments.

I was called an "asshole" by both of them. I went ballistic, which is how I react these days to criticism. No, this wasn't criticism, these were grenades. And since I have maintained this site for seven years for no pay, and had been sitting at my desk at home all week working on the site, I really flew off the handle, the end result being that I decided to pull down the site.

Many people immediately wrote emails to me asking me to reconsider; some posted comments to this posting.

It was Robert Chandler's words that finally calmed me down. As you can see in his comment, which is attached to this post, he said the wisest words: "In the immortal words of Jay, Give them the old Chiat/Day welcome. You know, ignore them.'

So the site will continue and the few cranks out there who object to something I write are welcome to express them. When banshees come after me, I will try to realize it just comes with the territory.

Steve Alburty

January 21, 2010

Illustration Corporation

After all of the recent gloomy news on this site, thank you to David Chapa for reminding us all that there are young artists out there just starting their careers:

Illustration Corporation at the Coop.
Come celebrate the launch of Chicago's first illustration agency

Meet some of Chicago’s best illustrators and learn how you can work with us in 2010.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Time: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: The Coop
Street: 845 W. Fulton Market, Suite 201
City/Town: Chicago, IL

Mix and mingle. Have a drink. Check out new work from some of Chicago's best illustrators.


The Coop website is www.coworkchicago.com

Deb (Penick) Arora

And yet another alum emerges from the existential existence of non-jaydayness to reveal her presence:

I was a Venice recruit on Nissan back in the mid-90's. (I'd have to check my resume to know the actual years--it's been a while.) I was Debbie Penick back then, now Debbie Arora.

Chuck Silverman


Somehow, news of Guy Day's death caused alum Chuck Silverman to run across this website. Says Chuck:

I actually hired or recommended about 10 or 15 people who are on [the "lost and found" list] and know several others. I even introduced Kuperman to Clow. And I was Lee’s copy partner twice. Look at Chiat/Day: The First 20 Years. I am Year Nine.

I’ve got a lot of good stories about Jay, Lee and others.

Sr. VP Creative Director at Chiat/Day
1987 - 1989
Worked here twice. First time in the late 70's as Lee Clow's copy partner. One of the first creatives at this now-famous agency. Came back at Jay's and Lee's personal requests to help head-up the Nissan pitch both strategically and creatively. We were in the Biltmore Hotel at the time. I personally wrote the strategy and did the creative that got us the business. Helped move the office to Venice, staff up, digest and run the account after its successful acquisition. Again, Jay asked me to move to the account side. This time I quit and moved to Colorado. Been here ever since.

Copywriter at Chiat/Day
1975 - 1978
Always wanted to work here although they were small and relatively unknown at the time. Jay hired me from my Kawasaki work. Ran into Lee Clow in the halls and we became a copy/art team. We went to the same high school – Hamilton High. As fate would have it, we got into the Yamaha Motorcycle pitch. Based on my Kawasaki experience and Lee's unabashed talent we got it - and it changed everybody's life. Jay gave me $500, asked me to buy a couple of suits, get a haircut, and be the head account person on the business. At the time, I took it as the ultimate insult. Now I revere the compliment. We ended up using a very junior Tom Patty as our Account Coordinator.

Dennis S. Juett

I received this wonderful email from a lost alum from the early early days of what would become Chiat/Day:

Dear Mr. Alburty,

I learned today with great sadness the passing of Guy B. Day. The world has lost a incredible human being. I was Faust/Day Advertising's first art director. I joined the agency as the fifth employee in the early 1960s. I left Chiat/Day in 1970 with Guy's blessing and worked with him on various projects until his "final" retirement in the 1980s. In fact, I worked with him to create and produce his two retirement ads that ran in the trades, one in the '70s and the final retirement ad in the '80s.

Please add me to your Chiat/Day roster and your mailing list.


Dennis S. Juett

Memorial for Guy Day

Mel Abert spoke has spoken with Annette Day. She said Guy did not want any service or memorial. That sounds like Guy. If the JayDay team wants to arrange something, Says Mel, "I'm certain many people would want to attend."

January 19, 2010

Guy Day Tribute : by Laurie Coots

Dear all,

This weekend, we lost Guy Day. He was one of the greats, and one of the primary architects of this very special place, called Chiat/Day.

When I joined the agency, Guy Day had one foot out the door, having been brought back to provide supervision over LA while Jay focused on building an agency in NY. Retirement however, was not a word that Guy found attractive, once saying that he was a “brown bagger” and that in order to be at his best, he had to have a place to go everyday, and so he kept coming to the office.

Guy kept a desk at the agency (by then located in the Biltmore Hotel) and his phone still rang with amazing regularity. As one of the secretaries that covered Guy at the time, I found him a real challenge. He typed faster than I did. His proofreading and grammar skills were better than anyone else in the building. And he always answered his own phone. Some days it seemed my only contribution to making his life easier, was getting his mail and sending the occasional “panafax.”

But by late 1986, feeling that the agency was headed in the right direction, Guy started coming to the office less frequently, spending time on two things he was deeply dedicated to: improving his tennis game, and getting the novel that was inside his head – out, and onto the page. He would pop in from time to time to perform various “sanity” checks, usually when we had a really big pitch (like Porsche and Nissan), or when Jay was thinking about moving or merging us.

In sharing stories with others who knew Guy well I was reminded of some things.

First, it’s important that we not forget that much of the “no-nonsense” focus on the work ethos, actually came from Guy.

In announcing that he, Guy Day, would be President of the newly merged Chiat/Day, he promptly shared with the Los Angeles Times that his appointment was the result of a coin toss, and that it was a technique that he and Jay planned to repeat annually to determine leadership of the agency. Nobody was ever really sure whether being named President was the result of winning, or losing the coin toss – but it set the stage for the total distaste for hierarchy and any trace of organizational politics.
Sid Salinger, one of Chiat/Day’s first Production Managers recounts,

“Guy and I were the same age (born in 1933), so perhaps we shared many of the same ‘old-fashioned’ values.  He was unquestionably one of the most creative people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  He had a quiet, wry, ironic sense of humor, and of honor.  He was even-tempered; quick to praise, and slow to criticize.  Advertising agencies, by their very nature, are generally peopled by mercurial personalities.  Guy's mind was lightning-quick, but his tongue was mannerly and controlled.  He was in every sense of the word, a gentleman -- a gentle man.”

Brent Bouchez considered Guy a mentor and is sure that,  “Guy’s judgment kept the company alive on more than one occasion.” Brent also shares the story, of when Guy once fired him in the morning and re-hired him in the evening of the same day.
"I threw a tantrum about the account people and bitched and moaned about them not being helpful and getting in the way, etc....hey, I was like 24 or something, I had no idea how good they really were until I grew up. I think Guy had had enough of me and probably a few others and he totally lost it and screamed at me "You're fired. Get the f--- out of the agency". A response that I must admit, had stupidly never occurred to me.
Later, Brent Thomas came into my office and asked why I was packing my stuff and I told him that Guy had fired me. He walked away and I continued collecting things from my desk. About 10 minutes later Brent came back and said "stop packing, you're not fired anymore." 
That evening as I sat in my office writing a Yamaha brochure, my box still half packed, Guy walked in and sat down. Over the course of the next hour, he explained his point of view on the advertising business, Chiat/Day and account executives. About the account people he said "Why do you keep trying to change them? Who they are makes them good at what they do. Just like who you are makes you good at what you do. And more importantly, you need them. Creative people are lousy at selling the work, they give up way too easily." 
As Guy got up to leave I said "So am I still fired?" To which he said "You were never fired" and walked away."

Guy was a brilliant storyteller, and one I could listen to for hours. In his stories the casting never changed: Jay, his partner, was both brilliant and a mad scientist – inflicting his experiments on all of us, and Lee was the creative genius. Guy was always clear, that it would be Lee that would be Chiat/Day’s creative Moses, responsible for leading us into the ‘promised land.’ Guy also used to say that Lee seemed to be the only one who didn’t realize he was our creative Moses, and that it was Guy’s job to remind him of it regularly – especially if one of Jay’s recent experiments had left Lee’s head spinning.

Of all the stories however, it was Guy’s new business bravado that made him one of my heroes. It is the stuff of legend.

There are many stories, but one of my favorites is the one recounted in Chiat/Day the First Twenty Years, in which after seeing some bad advertising for Western Harness Racing, Guy wrote the following to the client, “I am going to disqualify myself from ever soliciting your account because of this letter. Your advertising is embarrassing. You’re a major event in Southern California, and if you don’t care about your advertising, you ought to find somebody who will…” Almost two weeks later, the client calls Guy and wants to talk. Guy, Jay and a team from the agency head over and make a presentation but leave the meeting without the account. Back in the parking lot, Guy and Jay realize they needed a “betting man’s approach” and so returned to the client’s office with an offer he couldn’t refuse – Chiat/Day will bet every dime they make on the account that they can increase attendance by 15%. For every person over 15% Chiat/Day would take a $1/head and for every person under 15%, Chiat/Day would pay the client $1/head. The account came home with Guy and Jay that day. And the campaign was so successful, that the client quickly renegotiated the $1/head bounty as his primary means of agency compensation.

When you ask Lee about Guy, he says, "Guy made me sane while Jay made me crazy. He taught me a lot of things, like how to understand Jay. I probably wouldn't be here if it weren't for Guy."

Rick Boyko also had some very fond memories,

"When I first arrived at Chiat/Day in 1983 as an art director on Home Savings, one of the first people to walk into my cubicle at the Biltmore and introduce himself was none other than one of the men whose name was on the door. Guy was warm, humble and above all always willing to give me time whenever I asked. He became a mentor and teacher to me and one of the main reasons I ended up teaching myself is because of what I learned from him. While Jay challenged us all to push the boundaries and to think bigger thoughts, it was Guy who made sure the thoughts we thought were on brand and strategic. Many years after I left Chiat/Day and had become a manager myself, Guy would periodically send me notes with constructive thoughts. Those many years later he was still teaching. David Ogilvy said he admired and hired “people with gentle manners who treat other people as human beings”, I’m sure David is going to enjoy meeting Guy."

Fred Goldberg writes, 

Guy was the first person who I met when I interviewed at Chiat/Day in 1982.  I liked Guy from the start.  He was an amiable, genuine good guy. I don't think I ever saw him get angry or be mean. I had a very positive relationship with him over the years I spent at Chiat/Day and afterwards at Goldberg Moser O'Neill.

Guy seemed to perpetually have a happy go lucky attitude with just about anything and everything.  At the same time he often offered much wisdom. He particularly had a quite perceptive view into people and their motivations.  I saw him consul Jay, and others, on matters where his candid point of view and advice was honest and more often than not, on the mark.  Guy always offered me his frank opinions and advice, which I found relevant and which I appreciated.

I learned much about the "work" from Guy.  He championed it.  I learned much about the advertising business from Guy.  He didn't take it nearly as seriously as most of us did and therefore often had a possibly clearer perspective.  He was a good friend to those he considered his friends.  He was a source of irritation to some others because he could see them for what they really were and didn't necessarily like what he saw and said so.

I am sad to hear of Guy's passing.  I will miss our occasional conversations these past years. He was a good advertising person and his contributions and consul were invaluable. And everyone should remember, without Guy Day there would never have been a Chiat/Day, possibly the greatest creative agency of its time."

I got a personal laugh out of a comment about Guy from Geoff Siodmak, an old friend of the agency from the early days - his observation was right on. Geoff writes, "Guy was the calm to Jay's whirling vortex.  He was so measured, so intense, so balanced,  so in love with his wife and family,  it was a constant inspiration.  And though it did not seem so, he had a lesser tolerance for fools than Jay did.  It certainly kept you alert - when Jay called you a dope, you probably were not - when Guy called you a dope you probably were."


As others have said, Guy was an intelligent man, a thoughtful man, a strongly opinionated and yet, a fair and gentle man. Most importantly, Guy was a generous man – one confident enough to persuade, shape and influence from the edge of the spotlight, rather than from its center. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Guy's family. 

To share your thoughts about Guy, and see tributes from others, please check out the posts at http://www.jayday.org.

Love, Laurie

Laurie Coots
Chief Marketing Officer

Guy Day Tribute : by Tom Patty

It is impossible for me to think about Guy Day without thinking of Jay Chiat. Just as I can not think about Art Garfunkel without thinking of Simon and Garfunkel. Like Simon and Garfunkel, Jay Chiat and Guy Day created a partnership where “one plus one equaled three.” Together they created something unique.

Looking back at the agency, from a distant perspective, I believe that—to put it in sailing terms—Jay was the sail. Guy was the keel. Jay gave us propulsion. Guy gave us stability, balance and direction. Together, they were more than each separately. Together, they were not just Chiat and Day; but literally, Chiat/Day.

Jay wanted to see “how big we can get without getting bad.”
Guy wanted to “do great work” for clients who really appreciated what we did.

Jay was more of a businessman. Guy was more of an artist. Jay liked to make deals. Guy liked to make ads.

Jay was the gambler. Jay lived big. He always wanted to expand the boundaries.
Guy was the pragmatist. He lived within his means. Instead of expanding the boundaries, he wanted to seek perfection within the boundaries.

When we had to decide whether to resign the Porsche account to pitch the much larger Nissan account, Guy voted for “the bird in the hand.” Guy valued loyalty. Jay wanted to roll the dice.

Guy was a romantic soul. He believed in absolutes: right and wrong; good and bad. Compromise was not easy for him. Loyalty was important to him. He was protective of his people. When the Nike client got upset because we were getting more publicity than they were, it was Guy who stood up to them.

Guy was a great boss. He never told you what to do. He merely told you what he wanted you to achieve. He never meddled in the details. He gave you enough latitude to achieve great success or fail miserably.

Guy was not physically in the agency for more than half of the 21 years I spent at Chiat/Day. But when he was there, he provided a wonderful balance and a clarity of vision. I especially remember the years 1983-1984 when we won the Nike account, Pizza Hut, Porsche, and Home Savings. It was Guy who gave us the guidance, support and encouragement to think we could win.

Now, many years later, Jay and Guy are both gone—from the agency and from this life.. But their essence lives on. The song has ended, but the music lives on.

Tom Patty

January 18, 2010

A Chiat/Day remembrance

Got this lovely memory in the mail today from Penny Cunningham ...

Chiat/Day spoiled me for almost any other company. It certainly wasn't perfect, but as the experts say, the corporate culture starts at the top. When I first started in media, we still had a switchboard phone system, and I was one of the ones that rotated for lunch relief. I'd never operated one before, and was fairly nervous. And, of course, the first person I cut off turned out to be Jay. When he called back, he identified himself and said he'd just been cut off (sounding about as pleased as you'd expect). I blurted out, "Oh I'm so glad it was you, and not a client." He only paused a second and then said, "Yes, that's good," fairly dryly, and asked for whoever he'd called for. And in those days, almost everyone (except Jay) smoked. The media, traffic, production and creative groups often worked fairly late, and at the Olympic Blvd. office, you didn't want to venture out much after dark. Guy ALWAYS left ciggarets in his center desk drawer, knowing people would filtch (one at a time). No one ever took the last one, as far as I know, and most of us would periodically replace a pack so he wouldn't be out himself. Those are just two of the behaviors that defined corporate culture there. Not everyone fit at C/D, but they didn't stay long either. I didn't know Bob Dion, but clearly he stayed at C/D for a good amount of time, so he was one of the "good guys", and he will be sorely missed.

January 17, 2010

Guy Day

More sad news: Guy Day, the man behind the "/" has died. I will post more details when I have them.

Guy left the agency in the late 1970s (or was it the early 80s) to write a book. The last I heard of him was he was living at Westlake Village, a retirement community, outside of LA.

January 14, 2010

Bob Dion's funeral

All of us should be as kind and diligent as Robert Chandler, one of the Bob's writing partners has been, about making sure we all know about the services planned for Bob Dion's funeral. Says Robert ...

You may be receiving this same information also from Steve Alburty.
But, in case you're not on his Jay/Day email list:

I just heard from Nancy Dion, Bob's first wife. She tells me that the memorials services for Bob are next Wednesday, 20 January at Desert Memorial Park. I'll look up the address and let you know when I have the time and any other details.

I'm guessing it will be in the late morning.

Bob's son David will be flying up from Chile this weekend and maybe 4 of the grandsons. (David lives in Rome and was on business in Chile when his dad died.

The sons are: Perry, Jeffrey, David, Robert, Benjamin

Grandsons: Kyle, Klinton, Dillon, Julian, Michael, Elias and Max.

Louise Seeley is Benjamin's mother.

Allie is Bob's widow.

By the way, I tracked down one of Bob's former clients, Noreen Young of Holland America, whose name I got from John Salvati. Used Linkedin to find her as per your suggestion. She immediately got back to me with some excellent remembrancws. Noreen currently works in Boston.

If any of you can suggest a client I ought to contact re Bob, please let me know. The Web in general, and LinkedIn plus Facebook in particular, make it much easier to find people if they are findable.


robert c

And here's the official information from Bob's son, Perry ....

Dad will be buried at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City (near Palm Springs). My Dad's wife, my brothers and I will be putting together a ceremony at the grave site at 1:30pm, Wed. Jan 20 at Desert Memorial Park.

Please feel free to share this with friends and former colleagues of Bob.

Here's a link to the cemetery web site:


Desert Memorial Park
31705 DA VALL DR, CATHEDRAL CITY CA 92234-3277

Thank you again for your efforts in helping us all celebrate my Dad's life.



January 09, 2010

RIP: Bob Dion


Bob Dion, one of Chiat/Day's greatest art directors, has died in Palm Springs. I have no information about a memorial, but watch this space and I will post what I know if I find out.

In the meantime, please refer to this profile of Bob which was posted on this site in 2005. (The article refers to Bob living in Napa, but he had then moved to Palm Springs.)