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January 20, 2013

Ellen LaNicca

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I receive so much mail every day, sometimes important stuff slips through the crack, like this great message I received back in JULY from Ellen LaNicca.

Ellen LaNicca here – former employee of Jessica Dee Communications and part of Chiat/Day for about 3 years when Jay acquired us. While our group never really integrated with the rest of Chiat/Day I have fond memories of Jay and I wanted to thank you for all of your work these past years. I will go on the site and download photos.

One odd memory – I was the one who oversaw the photography of Jay’s apartment in the Village… lower Fifth Avenue, I think. It was a loft. My assignment was to get photographs which we would then place in Architectural Digest. I got to know Jay then. He was already getting sick at that point. They were good years and they helped make ne a better PR person. I still work with Patrice Tanaka … we are last men standing here. We sold what became PT&Co. after we left Chiat/Day to a group called Carter, Ryley Thomas and the new agency is called CRT/tanaka. PT and I are the only ones left from the former agency and we’ve both lasted beyond our contracts. PT has made quite a name for herself in ballroom dancing and recently wrote a book, “Becoming Ginger Rogers,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-g-yerman/becoming-ginger-rogers_b_1174654.html

January 19, 2013

Richard O'Connell

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Every once in a while, a certain alum will pop into my brain and I wonder how they are. Last week, the occupant of my brain was Richard O'Connell. So I wrote to him and asked him for both a photograph and an update on his life. Here is the latest on one of our favorite account executives:

I have been in Los Angeles for 6 years after leaving SF. I spent the last 3 1/2 year at Disney/ABC where I launched various networks apps (ABC, ABCNews and DisneyChannel) and second screen products including the Academy Awards which won an Emmy for outstanding digital innovation.

Currently, I am consulting with small to medium size digital companies to help grow their audience and define their social media strategy. I am enjoying being in a more start up environment. Additionally, I am helping some agencies with their new business pitches. One of my projects is working with Gary Smith (Chiat/Day LA - 2000) who is the founder of At Play Creative. If anyone is looking for some consulting help, they can reach me on LinkedIn (www.linkedin/in/richardsoconnell)

Here is some other C/D alumni news

Gwen Lipsky has a thriving, strategy consulting business in NY called SoundThinking where she works with many media and entertainment companies

Leslie Engel is the head of HR for William Grant & Sons which coincidentally was my first account at C/D

Charlie Bidwell lives in LA and we recently had lunch. He is expanding his photography business and branching out into merchandise featuring his original photos.

Patty Reis is a realtor at Halstead Property in Darien, CT. Patty hasn't aged at all and is still the nicest person I know.

Elena Salij who was an account planner in the NY office is a whiz at Words with Friends. She has an expansive vocabulary and a competitive streak.

I hope you find some of the news helpful.

All the best,
Richard (aka Dick O'Connell)


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"I love the advertising business. I hate the advertising business."

This piece came to me via Bill Moreland, who got it from Bob Kuperman.

Hy Abady has been a copywriter for over four decades. This column, written for the East Hampton Star is a spot-on summation of what the industry was like and where it all went:


Doyle Dane ran an ad, a full-page ad in The New York Times. A cartoon, much like the ones that ran in The New Yorker by a cartoonist named Saxon.

The drawing was of the chairman of American Airlines, standing up, fists propped up on his desk, talking to co-workers. The caption/headline read: “We are not looking for another ad agency. We can barely stand the one we have.”

Is there a client today willing to be this clever and irreverent?

Is there an ad agency today willing to be this risky and even show an ad like this?

You watch television. You look at magazines. You tell me.

You can read the entire article here.