November 14, 2013

Just Do What Fred Did

Fred in his heyday.


Fred and John Wayne on a shoot

All of you certainly remember Fred Goldberg, who ran Chiat/Day's San Francisco office, as well as founding his own agency. As reported earlier on this site, he has written a book: "The Insanity of Advertising."

Many of you will also remember Robert Chandler a writer and creative group head in the LA office from 1977-1981. He sent me his very own review of Fred's book, to which he places the first finger of each of his hands in an enthusiastically upright position.


To Chiat/Day alum, to anybody in advertising, or who find advertising and marketing intriguing,

I commend to you Fred Goldberg's new memoir on his adventures in the ad trade, THE INSANITY OF ADVERTISING, to be published in January.

Fred and I worked on some of the same accounts and in some of the same places - notably Chiat/Day and Y&R on Apple and Gallo - but never at the same time.

I was always hearing about Fred, sometimes when he'd been at a place before me, sometimes when he'd gone on to a place I'd worked.

Fred, like Jay Chiat who figures large in his memoirs, has been both notable and controversial. And for similar reasons. He has a reputation as being very smart, very tough, and very demanding.

And being and doing so, he always got good results.

Fred inspired both admiration and trepidation, both affection and the opposite. But, that is almost always the arc of an outstanding career, if not absolutely always.

I've read two chapters of his book. The are engaging, straightforward and very readable. In each instance where I've known the subject or the people, I've found Fred's observations to be astute, accurate. And, particularly interesting to hear his perspective on things I knew from my own and others' points of view.

Fred went on to found a very successful agency, Goldberg, Moser & O'Neil of San Francisco.

I'm not necessarily a fan of books on ad biz, even when very good. And, I often have a peculiar aversion to reading about things I know a lot about personally. Perhaps through fear or anticipated annoyance that the writer is going to getting things a little or very wrong.

But, I have enjoyed Fred's chapters, and after having partaken of the hors d'oeuvres, look forward to the entire meal in January.

His promotional website is very good.

And here's the Amazon page.

Submitted by Robert Chandler, Chiat/Day L.A. writer and creative group head,
1977 - 1981


And here are some spicy excerpts from Fred's book:

Jay hired me after a breakfast meeting at the Cheese & Olive in Marina del Rey. The next most memorable thing about that morning I was hired came after we shook hands. He said, “Come with me.” We walked across Ocean Avenue to a place called the Baja Cantina, where about 20 of Jay’s buddies and gal pals had gathered for brunch. It was only 11 a.m. and half of them were already drunk as skunks. The other half were high as kites. I thought to myself, what have I just done?


At the end of 1985, Jay Chiat came up with one of his largest and most grandiose ideas. Why not buy two great creative advertising agencies, Ally & Gargano and Hal Riney, and create a new entity to be known as Ally Chiat Riney? This naming would likely be the only thing that the three companies might amicably agree upon since the names were in alphabetical order, thereby removing some of the political and emotional tension.
In many ways, this combination, Ally Chiat Riney, was a brilliant thought since it would have brought together arguably the three most creative agencies of the time, each a key player in an important advertising market: NewYork, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, respectively.
Not too much thought was given as to how Ally and Chiat and Riney might work together, well or not, but Jay offered that he would “run it.” Uh-huh. 


John Sculley (ex–Apple Computer CEO) writes in his book Odyssey that he asked Chiat/Day, “See if there is a way to take advantage of the fact that 1984 was the year that George Orwell chose for his famous prophecy of a totalitarian regime in which Big Brother controls all of man’s actions and thoughts.”
Actually, the Orwellian idea had been bouncing around Chiat/Day well before Sculley even arrived at Apple. I will give him credit, though, for sometimes recognizing a good idea when he heard one, since the idea had been discussed as part of the product launch. 


He wanted to see where we were at and upon looking at the very first ad threw a tantrum of disappointment and went on to crap on every single piece of advertising we had lined up around the conference room walls.
“Show me the work.”
“This is all shit.”
“What have you guys been thinking?”
“We’re in trouble.”
“This is shit.”
All of this was expressed at the top of Jay’s voice in an extremely irritated and condescending manner. Which was par for Jay’s course.
Everyone was sufficiently demotivated and tired, when Lee Clow asked Jay to take a stroll with him, which they did. Lee used that walk to speak persuasively and in his usual calm manner. “OK, asshole, you go present whatever you want.”
We all went to sleep and the next morning drove over to Apple and presented all of the work exactly as it was the night before. Of the 45 ads, 44 were approved for production.

All excerpts (c) by Fred Goldberg and Council Oak Books

August 03, 2013

Fred Goldberg


Fred Goldberg, who ran C/D's San Francisco office for umpteen years, has written a book about his life in advertising. Called "The insanity of Advertising," here's a link to the website where you can buy the book. (It's also available for pre-order on Amazon.) It will come out in October. Here's a link to the book's website and here is a blurb about the goodies inside it:

The Insanity of Advertising delivers a surprising inside look at unbelievable and sometimes astonishing happenings in the ad business. Not tittle-tattle, but real, absolutely truthful, on the ground intel from an executive who saw it happening right before his eyes. Think Walter Cronkite with a sense of humor. From Madison Avenue to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It’s about the advertising people and their clients, at times crazy; some crazy all the time. There’s a week spent with John Wayne shooting commercials, commercials he didn’t want to be shooting; the untold story behind Steve Jobs and the infamous introductory Apple “1984” Macintosh commercial; what it was like working with Michael Dell as Dell Computers mushroomed from $100M to $30+B; along with insights and anecdotes recounted from dealing with advertising legends like Jay Chiat and Lee Clow; and entrepreneurs like Larry Ellison, Les Crane, Don Kingsborough and Joseph E. Levine. It’s an entertaining and fun read, but along the way there are meaningful insights and lessons to be learned about management, entrepreneurial people and practices, and oh! most certainly the ad biz.

Check out the website of the book, as it contains many wonderful samples of work Fred's agency created.

P.S. In light of recent events, Fred posted an observation on Facebook that is particularly relevant to recent news: "I lived through seven agency mergers, every one of which resulted in a failure. In the new book The Insanity of Advertising,, there is a chapter devoted entirely to this subject. It’s titled “Cultricide”."

March 05, 2012

Ken Segall's new book

As if writing the new JC Penny commercials wasn't enough (see entry below), Ken found time between takes to write a book! It's about his years of experience writing commercials for Apple, but it's neither a tell-all or a bio.

Insanely Simple Book-1

Ken says ....

Insanely Simple is about Apple’s obsession with Simplicity.

You can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it organizes, innovates and communicates. In fact, one could argue that it was Steve’s unrelenting passion for Simplicity that helped Apple rise from near-death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011.

My observations come from over 12 years of experience as Steve’s agency creative director, from NeXT to Apple. Also relevant to my story are the years I spent on the agency team during John Sculley’s rule at Apple. And then I had some interesting (and often excruciating) experiences in the worlds of Dell, Intel and IBM — which made me even more conscious of what sets Apple apart.

To Steve Jobs, Simplicity was a religion. But it was also a weapon — one that he used to humble competitors once thought to be invincible.

You can buy it right now by pushing the button below. How simple!

December 16, 2011

Holiday Donations

My goodness! Thank you so much for some generous donations from Nat Whitten and Fred Goldberg. I'm proud that the jayday community cares enough about the site to share the cost of its maintenance. You will see their names over there on the right side of this screen.


Nat is a gifted creative director and copywriter. He's also written several books of humor. "Secrets of the Superoptimist," "The Do-It-Yourself Constitutional Amendment Kit," and "The Book of Extremely Common Prayer." You can read all about them here.


As for Fred, he is a marketing and advertising consultant in the Bay Area, but for 10 years he was founder, Chairman, and CEO of Goldberg Moser O'Neill. And, of course, for eight years he was President of the San Francisco office of Chiat/Day San Francisco.

November 07, 2011

Hillary Jordan

Hillary Jordan

It is said that every copywriter has an unpublished novel somewhere in their drawer or hard drive. Hillary Jordan, who worked as a copywriter in Venice (Nissan and Eveready, late 80s and early 90s) has not only published ONE book, but has now come out with another!

You can read all about them, including get information about her book tour, here.

Books Whenshewoke They are also available on Amazon by clicking here.

October 27, 2006

What's on Ted's bookshelf?


Introducing a new jayday feature, in which I ask an alum who is still very much in the business to tell us what books we should all be reading.

Here's our first contribution, from former C/D senior account planner, Ted Nelson, who now runs his own strategic branding company called Mechanica.


Positioning - The Battle for Your Mind
-- Trout and Ries' seminal book on positioning.


Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick -- a book about the science of Chaos Theory, that really struck me as incredibly relevant to the modern day consumer marketing context.


Plenitude (culture by commotion)by Grant McCracken -- a brilliant book, by a cultural anthropologist dealing with the "Culture by commotion" that so defines today's consumers and segments.