April 11, 2014

Carisa Bianchi


Carisa Bianchi, the President of TBWA/Chiat/Day, is leaving after nine years. (That's 27 in "ad years.") She first became President in 2005, after a successful two-year stint running the San Francisco office.

She once wanted to work for the CIA, but wound up in advertising, which is pretty much the same thing. She first came to work at Chiat/Day in 1989. Perhaps the greatest account she ever worked on at Chiat/Day was what would become one of the most famous campaigns in advertising: the Energizer Bunny. It's still going. And going.

And, like the Energizer Bunny, Carisa herself is an avid runner.

She is so smart and talented, I like to fantasize that she is leaving to become Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, but that is only pure wishful thinking on my part! (Hillary, if you're reading this, give Carisa a ring.)

January 22, 2014

Happy 30th Anniversary, "1984"

Today is the 30th anniversary of the airing of the famous "1984" commercial for Apple Computer. It ran once, in the Super Bowl, and made history for the Mac, for Apple, and for Chiat/Day.

Here's a fine article about the making of the commercial, with lots of commentary from Fred Goldberg.

November 06, 2013

Bob Jeffrey's successor appointed


Long before he CEO of JWT, Bob Jeffrey was an account guy at Chiat/Day in the New York office. From there, he formed an agency with Gary Goldsmith, and then did a stint as President of Lowe's. Now, according to Ad Age, "WPP's JWT has named McCann Worldgroup's Gustavo Martinez its global president and future successor to JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Bob Jeffrey. Mr Martinez won't take on the role of global president until February 2014. He'll assume the role of Worldwide CEO in 2015, at which time Mr. Jeffrey will become non-executive chairman. Mr. Jeffrey will continue as Worldwide CEO through 2014."

Congratulations, Bob! You survived!

October 06, 2013

"And then Steve said, 'Let there be an iPhone"

A terrifying look behind the scenes as Steve Jobs presents the iPhone:

August 03, 2013

Mel Newhoff


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

Tom Burr & Jeanne Hahn, Mel & Marian Abert, Gaybe & Steve Bowers and Trisha & Mel Newhoff


Mel Abert, Mel Newhoff and Tom Burr

Mel And Milton

Mel Abert with Milton Berle, our Fairchild client, and Mel Newhoff at a Fairchild shoot

First Employees
Mel Abert, Mel Newhoff and Tom Burr with first AN&B employees

Newhoffs Abertsphoto
Trisha and Mel Newhoff with Connie and Mel Abert at Chiat/Day reunion in 2008.

June 22, 2013

James Gandolfini


Thanks to Peter Franke for this wonderful memory:

We called him Jim when he was our bartender at Espace/Steak Frittes on 16th St in NYC.

He was doing understudy work on Broadway while working nights.

Chiat/Day was right around the corner and the restaurant was our hangout.

He was a super nice guy , nothing like the character he often played, that always remembered you and your drink.

I actually saw him on his last night there when he had sold a screenplay and was moving to Hollywood.

I've been expecting to run into him since he moved back to NY but it never happened.

Too bad, may he rest in peace.

January 19, 2013

"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 N