Archive | October 25, 2010

Bye,Bye,Byrnee …

Valeriy Solovyov was honored, buried and toasted. This morning,  we had told “Boris Schmoris” to “Go Fuck Himself” (in proper Russian, of course). We’d just had a few hour nap. Sergey, our driver,  rang our bell at 1:30 in the afternoon. Refreshed from our naps following the meeting with Boris, the abhorrent, Veronika and I [...]

Home Alone.

It had been a very busy Friday. In the morning, we (2000 of us) had honored my assassinated partner (“LIFE AND DEATH IN THE PALACE OF CULTURE”). In the afternoon, we had buried him (“THE TSAR IS DEAD”). Through the night, we had toasted him and vowed to avenge his death (“HEAD OF THE TABLE”). [...]

Boris Schmoris …

Valeriy Solovyev, my cherished Russian partner,  was kaput. On Saturday morning,  2000 heartbroken employees, friends, business associates and one lover had honored him at the Palace of Culture. That afternoon, half of those at the Palace of Culture assisted at his frozen earth burial in Northern St. Petersburg. That night 600 employyes and partners toasted [...]

Head of the Table.

The public mourning was done (See “Death and Life in the Palace of Culture”). The cemetery was now history (See “The Tsar is Dead”). But, Russia was not done with Solovyev yet. His Memorial Meal at Optica lay still ahead. I had instructed my driver, Serge, to take us first to my apartment so Veronika and [...]

The Wall Street Infernal.

NOTE: WRITE INTRO TO CONNECT WITH REST OF STORY. IF NEEDED. E. Dean Butler was a man with inside information. He had been inside Procter & Gamble for six years and had risen to a high inside position. The Wall Street Journal had a lady reporter who had been nosing around P&G for nearly a [...]

I Get a Kick out of Hugh! … and you … and you!

Tex Antoine was TV’s most famous and influential weatherman. From early in the Fifties, he’d established his presence in New York . He had devised a presentation which utilized his considerable talent at character-sketching and for the first 20 years of his weather career built his weather-casts around his creation, Uncle Wethbee. By the time [...]

QA-QA-QADDAFI!

Come on now, how many ad men have ever been asked to help decimate the economy of a foreign nation? Three? Four? No more than a half dozen right? Well, I’m one of them. It started out, not as an ad man, but as an operator of a Blackjack school. And, it wasn’t as Jack [...]

Show Me da Money!

Rocky Graziano, middleweight champion of the world, was born New Year’s Day 1921. Sixty-five years later, in December 1986, at about 4:15 in the morning, he couldn’t sleep. Deciding “not to fight it”, he got up, slipped on a pair of sneakers and a raincoat and went out to get an early newspaper. Rocky lived [...]

No Biz like Show Biz…

Billy Martin is not the only threat I ever met in Shepheard’s. I mean, New York is not all Lindy’s cheesecake and The Children’s Zoo. The Booking was Christian and the Lions first ever, in Summer of ’78, in the prettiest club on the East Coast,  Shepheard’s, operated by the Loews Hotel Corporation in the [...]

Billy, Mickey and Me.

Creativity is where you find it. And the more limited the budgets of your clients, or the more adventurous the levels of impact you wish to achieve, you better find it in places other than the client’s reserve fund. The synthesizing of unrelated elements is often the key process in creative “inventions”. (When opportunity knocks, [...]

“A JING IS A JOY IN SAVING!”

Harold Smith, a top buyer for Robert Hall, had left the dying company and decided to open his own chain of women’s specialty shops in the growing market of the middle south. He planned to call them JONNA’S, an anagram of his two daughter’s names. And, he called me and pleaded for Jack Byrne Advertising [...]

How to Make Money Without Really Trying.

All right, Class, settle down. Here is the key question on your final exam in Advertising 101: What is the single most important contractual factor in assuring, from the agency’s point of view, that a satisfactory agency/client relationship will exist? No, it’s not the “duration of the contract”. It’s not the “stipulations” of responsibilities. It’s [...]

The Greatest Impressario since Flo Ziegfeld.

When I first met my wife, Christian Cooper, she was an actress. My early courtship included shuttle flights between New York and Boston where she was appearing in the pre-Broadway run of Prettybelle, an Alexander Cohen production, directed by Gower Champion and starring Angela Lansbury. However, prior to her acting career, she had been a [...]

Don’t Go to Work Today.

In 1970, the New York City economy was not so hot and getting colder and the menswear industry was colder than that. Denim was hot, but tailored clothing was not, thanks to the upward spiraling influence of the freedom-loving Baby Boomers. To add to the industry’s problems, its half-hearted attempts to establish designer names as [...]

BS from B&S.

BS from B&S. My first job after graduating from Columbia College in ’49 was with Procter and Gamble as a merchandiser and salesman. That lasted a year. I didn’t have the P&G family spirit. My next step was to attend the NYU Summer Television Workshop. I felt my future would hold the most promise in [...]

You’ve Got to Know Your Bees.

In marketing circles, they say Manufacturing is “Strategic” and Retailing is “Tactical”. That makes sense. GM sets the long-term goals in product, markets and pricing and provides the advertising cover barrage under which its dealers fight the regional battles and the day-to-day skirmishes in the daily newspapers, using the most localized weapons such as price [...]

Even Then He Knew…

Jack Byrne Advertising was new, hot, and the talk of both the 6:05 and the 7:02 New Haven RR commuter bar cars if not the town. In less than 6 months from its opening on January 1, 1970, it had nailed the biggest plum in food marketing, the Bonus Gifts Coupons account, incorporating funds from [...]

The Tsar is Dead.

At 8AM on December 8th, 1993, my Russian Federation partner, Valeriy Solovyev, stepped out of his elevator and was hit with three bullets fired at point blank range.  (See ”Death and Life at The Palace of Culture”, “Head of the Table” and …….). The experience at the Northern St. Petersburg cemetary was a rare one indeed …. The hand was [...]

Death and Life in the Palace of Culture.

NOTE: Write intro that connects with rest of story. He was cute. Impish. Dimpled. Round. His eager eyes always shone with anticipation and were quick to laugh. He was small for a Russian, perhaps 5’6”. Although he was somewhat rotund in shape, his shoulders-width neck reminded one of his youthful accomplishments as a Greco-Roman wrestler [...]

That Dirty Daug Mindaugas

Vision Express had opened three stores in Lithuania, the first in Panevežys which was nearest to our Latvia headquarters in Riga, the second in Vilnius, the capital and largest city, and the third in Kaunas,  close to Vilnius in size and thriving. All three cities met our population and economic criteria, but one Lithuanian city [...]

The Greatest Little Coupon in the World.

OK. Here’s a problem for you. It’s March 1970. Your new agency is two months old. You have left your partners at Griswold Eshleman Baker & Byrne, New York and Cleveland. Former partners (Charlie Farran, Jim Johnston, Sidney Matthew Weiss, Milton Guttenplan, Perry Brand, and Norman Cohen) were all behind you now. From the beginning [...]