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February 21, 2010

Alison (Forsyth) Smela

And Alison Forsyth (we knew her as Alison Smela has also found our merry band.

I was with Chiat/Day from June 1990 through August of 2001 in both the Chicago and LA offices working on the Nissan Regional business.

Welcome Alison!

Scott Sanford's pencil


Scott Sanford was kind enough to send me this entry about a C/D tschotcke that still lives in his home:

Annette and I came across this recently. Hanging around with all the other pencils in our house. We still use it to create the occasional grocery list. It's not as exciting as when it started out as a young pencil back in Manhattan. But it survived the trip across the country and the dot com boom and bust. Now it's living a much quieter life here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Increasingly shorter and not as useful but still proud.


John Uusitalo

Welcome John Uusitalo, wo worked as an account supervisor on Intel in the San Francisco office (80-82)/

Doug Katz

Doug and Laura Katz

Doug Katz was a beloved figure on the C/D NY staff. But who knew his secret passion: running a summer camp!

My wife and I have recently partnered with Camp Lakota in the Catskills and we are new owners & directors up there. This is our 6th summer of running summer camp. And you think advertising is a crazy business.

I remember fondly the days back at 79 5th and all the help you and your
team gave us.


Blue Plate Productions, Inc.

*digital video for web/cd/dvd
*live webcasting*interactive cd production

Chiat's Dais #1

Nancy Ullman has uncovered a treasure trove of Chiat memorabilia.

Writes Nancy:

Last week I found a sleeve/folder in the rafters of my garage entitled "Chiat's Adweek Columns."  Inside were 12 insightful articles that Jay wrote for Adweek between 1982-1984.  They must have had them printed out for us employees sometime between 1988-1990.
I think you would particularly enjoy "Humility Should Be Ruidimentary," because he speaks of the importance in doing some things yourself--why you should answer your own phone, and wash out your own mug.  One of my favorites is "A Class Act, and How to Follow It," since anyone in any industry can take this advice and run with it.  In it Jay even mentions what a classy many Guy Day was.

I am not going to publish all of them all at the same time, so as to not overwhelm you. Here's the first. Enjoy. Click on the image TWICE to blow it up to a readable size.


P.S. And thank you, Nancy for providing these to the archives!

A Class Actsm

February 11, 2010

Gene Crocker


There are so many people with whom I worked at C/D and, there, in the SFO office, was one of my all time favorites, Gene Crocker. When I was installing the Wang system, I think I stole him from media to become the head of MIS (IT) for the SF office.

I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and met Gene for a late breakfast in Berkeley. He has a wife and two lovely children from a former marriage. He now works for Wells Fargo bank in the mortgage dept.

My fondest memory of Berkeley is a particular bookstore which Gene spent much time circling various blocks trying to find for me.

I find it obscene that he looks so young.

Pam Morris

Welcome in from the cold to Pam Bertino, who used to be known as Pam Morris. She worked in Venice Beach, CA, from 1990 – 1992 on the Nissan Account. She worked with Tom Patty and Steve Goldman.

She is now a big shot at the Weather Channel in Atlanta, which means she could ruin your morning commute if you're not nice to her.

Neal Grossman


Long-time C/D alum Neal Grossman has been named as TBWA's Chief Compensation Officer.

Of course, the big question is "did Neal get a raise?" And, if so, was his first assignment in his new role to approve it?

February 06, 2010

Old photo of Bob Dion

From that great curator of C/D memorabilia, Chuck Phillips ...


this was taken by me 25 years ago on the tarmac in Nice. my daughter regan (now mother of my grandsons captain and cisco) in the middle flanked by bob and louise.


February 04, 2010

Robert Chandler's obituary for Bob Dion

Robert Chandler, one of Bob Dion's writing partner, has written a wonderful obituary for Bob. It has been submitted to many publications, but due to the inconstancies of the newspaper business these days, it may not appear everywhere we would like. But I'm proud to publish it here ....

Bob Dion, a Calming Creative Force at 
Tempestuous Chiat/Day, Dies.

Bob Dion, a key art director and creative executive at the iconoclastic and ground-breaking ad agency, Chiat/Day, during its ascendant years, has died in his Palm Springs, CA home. He was 78.

In reporting his January 9th death, his son, Rob, cited pulmonary fibrosis as the cause, after a long illness.

Mr. Dion spent the bulk of his 45 year career with two firms. First at Needham, Harper & Steers (now part of DDB) and later in the Los Angeles and then New York office of Chiat/Day, which he established with Jay Chiat in 1980. The agency was in 1995 acquired by Omnicom and merged to form TBWA\Chiat\Day.

Mr. Dion was notably understated and easy going in disposition, a stark contrast to the famously charismatic, volatile, and acerbic Chiat, who lead his agency to fame and creative acclaim by alternately inspiring and intimidating.

A good friend and peer of Jay’s in both age and mutual regard, Dion was able to anticipate imminent firestorms and provide a buffer behind which the eclectic, youthful, more easily cowed talent of Chiat/Day could continue to function. And deliver the audacious campaigns C/D was producing on both coasts, elevating the young shop into the first ranks of innovative ad agencies.

Lee Clow, now chief creative officer of TBWA\Chiat\Day, is a creator of the agency’s most famous commercial of that era, the Orwellian “1984” which launched Apple’s Macintosh computer. Clow recalls how, when interviewing with him in Dion‘s Needham days, “He took so much time coaching me encouraging me and telling marvelous stories about advertising adventures. Bob Dion was one of the more nurturing and helpful guys in the business.”

In New York, Dion served as creative director, overseeing campaigns for cruise line, Holland America, General Electric, upstart airline, New York Air, and the controversial investment banking firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert.

In this period, when America’s economic primacy seemed to be threatened by a rising Japan, a Dion spot for General Electric pictured Uncle Sam in closeup being slapped several times across the face, until Uncle takes the offending hands into a powerful grasp, lowering them with impervious aplomb.

Boston marketer, Noreen Young, his former client at Holland America observes, “The truly amazing thing is that Bob’s creative work done in the early 80's is still the core of Holland America communications all these years later.”

Jim Condon, a copywriter veteran of Needham, now 92, knew him from his start in that agency’s Chicago mailroom in 1960. Five years later, in the L.A. office, the two collaborated with creative director, Hal Kaufman, on the launch of what was to be a long running and famous campaign for Continental Airlines. “Hal was fixated on a line, ‘The rare bird with the golden tail.’ Bob and I kept saying, it had to be proud bird. For days Hal resisted, finally relenting just hours before presenting to
Continental founder, Bob Six. It was a close call.”

Mr. Dion, a native of Chicago, where he was born May 29, 1931, graduated from Western Michigan University in 1955. There he met and married his first wife, Nancy Perry, soon beginning a six-month Army stint.

Afterwards, Mr. Dion sold Burroughs business machines for an unhappy period until making his escape to the Needham mailroom. There, he eventually proved his talent and although he had never taken an art course, was promoted to art director on All Detergent, and then Morton Salt. “I was an admiring bystander like everybody else in the industry,” said Mr. Condon, “What an art director's dream! Not a word of copy, just beautiful graphics and the Morton signature.“

Dion inspired affection and respect throughout his career. Longtime Chiat/Day art director and CD, Yvonne Smith expressed sentiments that were typical: “Bob Dion was too nice to be in advertising. It made it all the harder to steal ideas from him (though it didn't stop me). He was as talented as he was generous and gracious.”

Mr. Dion is survived by his wife, Alberta. By his four sons by Nancy: Perry, Jeffrey, David, and Robert. By a fifth son, Benjamin, by his second marriage to Louise Seeley of Boise, ID. And by seven grandsons.

Veteran copywriter and creative director, Ken Segall, recounted a story from his days as apprentice copywriter and partner to Mr. Dion. Mr. Segall had allowed an incorrect address to be calligraphed into hundreds of elegant invitations for an important Chiat/Day event. Discovering this when there was very little time left to repair the mistake, “I picked my stomach up off the floor and went to break the news to him. Somehow Bob suppressed his desire to kill me and together we figured out a fix. The wrath of Jay was about to come down upon him, but I believe Bob was actually more concerned about not scarring his rookie writer for life.“


February 02, 2010

Christine Donohoe

Does anybody have a working email address for her? The one I have bounces back. Don't post it as a comment, just send it directly to me via email. (My address is at the top of this page.)

Steve Alburty

More alums found!

Guy Day's death has a lot of people Googling and finding the Jay/Day website!

Michael Aarons ...

I was an account guy in L.A. from ’85-’88, on Apple, Home Savings and Mitsubishi. Now retired and living in Lake Arrowhead.

Martine Hunter ...

... who is now Creative Director for eMedia at MLT Creative in Atlanta. Here's a blog post she wrote about Chiat/Day.

Stacey Lippman ...

We have been in South Florida and Connecticut for a number of years. We are now trying to move because we want only one house but in neither of those places. Our three children are now adults, which I guess means that we are old, but getting old is better than the alternative, although we have no independent confirmation of that.
I have been involved in elective politics, real estate and charity. I am now ready to go back to regular work, which I was never intrerested in when I was younger. But I remain a realist, which was always my undoing.

My daughter is trying to get into the advertising business, which means there must be a gene defect in the family, but I try not to discourage her.

Seth Park ...

Mindi Harrison turned me onto your alumni site. It’s a wonderful thing. I am listed as neither lost nor found, but here I am. I worked for Paul Greenberg in the media department in New York from ’87 and ’88, and then went off to law school- which, at the time, was actually just a few blocks down 5th Ave. As I recently wrote to Mary Maroun, law's been a decent ride and, generally speaking, it hasn't been as painful as many have experienced, but nothing can match the fun and creative energy of my time at Chiat/Day. It was a special place to spend some time.

Adweek's obituary for Bob Dion

You may read Adweek's obituary for dear Bob by clicking here.