It is my sad duty to inform you that one of Chiat/Day's earliest pioneers has died.
I received an email from David Newhoff to let me know that his father, Mel, passed away on July 21, 2013. Mel's long-time friend and business partner, Mel Abert, sent me a wonderful memoriam.
(Some of you who attended the 2008 40th Anniversary Reunion at the Rose Cafe in LA may remember having met Mel there.)
In March of 1966 Mel Newhoff & I were hired by Paul Keye and Mario Donna at Faust/Day which later became Chiat/Day. Some of the first accounts that Mel & I worked on were Fairchild Semiconductor, Hunt Wesson Foods, d Base Software, Sun Valley Resorts, Rancho California, Introducing Honda Automotive, KNBC, Viviane Woodard Cosmetics, Recognition Equipment, Hollywood Park Harness Racing, Aerospace Corporation, Ontario Speedway just to name a few.
Then in 1973 Mel and I left C/D to start our own agency, Abert Newhoff & Burr. 1973 - 1990. Some of the accounts were introducing the Daihatsu Automobile, Yamaha Scooters, Citizen Printers, Samsung, Yamaha Consumer Products, Ashton-Tate, Cannon ITT, Bush Gardens Bird Sanctuary, Hollywood Park, KFWB Radio, KNX-FM, Lion Country Country Safari, Universal Studios, Brentwood Savings, Caldwell Banker, The Irvine Company, Kaufman and Broad, Ticor Title Insurance, Public Storage, Ameritone Paint, Aqua Chem Pool Chemicals, Bushnell, Fi-Bar health bars, LA Fire Department, Charlie Browns Restaurants, Whomphoppers Restaurants, Laker Airways, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Sheraton Hotels and Tahiti Tourist Board etc.
In 1990 AN&B closed its doors. Mel went off to manage Bozell Los Angeles while I started Abert Poindexter. Mel freelanced for us off and on for several years working on Crystal Cruises, Viewsonic Monitors and MK Diamond Saws etc.
Then in 2007 I started Abert Entity and Mel and I resumed working together on Epson Printers, Seiko Instruments, Melfred Borzall HDD Tools, Digital Controls, Museum Towers Dallas and D Link.
In the 48 years of working together, Mel continually amazed me with his tremendous creative ability. Always on point, interjecting just the exact amount of humor or seriousness. Always giving clients more than they expected. Always making me look good. I’ll miss him personally and professionally big time. The advertising community just lost a major talent.
Mel Abert, Mel Newhoff and Tom Burr
Mel Abert with Milton Berle, our Fairchild client, and Mel Newhoff at a Fairchild shoot
Trisha and Mel Newhoff with Connie and Mel Abert at Chiat/Day reunion in 2008.