…True Confessions of an Ad Man

          1. This blog tells stories of one of the most brilliant, creative, versatile, controversial, successful and unsuccessful men in the history of advertising and marketing.
          2. He has founded or helped found six agencies, twelve companies, three divisions, and a retailing concept that has swept the world.
          3. He helped make many billions of dollars for AT&T, helped save the cotton industry from collapse, created a company concept that sold for $36 million three years after its inception, was a six-figure consultant to the world’s largest advertising agency, reorganized the sales operations of one of the world’s largest chemical companies, was the dominant figure in the development of the world’s largest menswear store, and, with his black wife helped two white South Africans turn $2 million into $20 million in two years. Then, he played the game of life and death marketing for 8 years in the Former Soviet Union.
          4. Yet, he has experienced two corporate and one personal bankruptcy.
          5. “He’s a genius, but you can’t control him.” President of world’s largest men’s clothing store. “Never in history of retailing have so many come to an opening!” President of Gimbels, Philadelphia at the Market East Opening (see banner above) engineered by this man.
          6. “First, we had Bill Bernbach, then David Ogilvy, naturally, we invited Jack to open our next Australian National Advertising Association Conference”. Head of largest Australian Advertising Agency.
          7. “He is the only man I have ever met who, as long as he keeps talking, I would keep listening.” President of a leading optical laboratory.
          8. “Trouble is when he handles my advertising, I feel I’ve given up running my company.” President of largest men’s clothing store in New England.
          9. “We told him that he taught us everything we know and that we did not need him anymore. Then, he fought against us and showed us he had not taught us everything HE knew.” Russian optical industry oligarch.
        • This blog is the beginning of Jack Byrne’s autobiography, “True Confessions of an Ad Man”.
        • This is not your usual “solicitation-in-disguise” type of ad-man’s biography.
        • This blog will probably destroy all opportunity for Jack Byrne to serve the advertising industry again.
        • This blog is for dreamers who would like to see some rude awakenings.
        • This blog is for realists who would like to learn how it really is.
        • This blog is for creative people of spirit and honor who might like to know what life on the inside is really like.

This is a very funny blog.
This is a very sad blog.

This is the story of shattered ideals.
This is the story of a writer playing roles.

This story is by a Charlatan.
This story is by a Christian.

This story is by a Samaritan.
This story is by Robin Hood.

This story is by a Flim Flam man.
This story is by a Lion in the Streets.

This story is by a lamb in wolf’s clothing.
This story is by a wolf in lamb’s clothing.

This story is by “the greatest salesman I have ever known” said by a man who guaranteed over a million-dollar business loan on Jack Byrne’s word alone…

… and lost it all.


16 responses to “About…”

  1. Paul Wolf Avatar
    Paul Wolf

    What a great pleasure seeing you again today 11/18/10. To be brief, As long as you’re writing I will be reading. Stay well!


    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      Thanks, Paul,
      Very nice to see you again also. I would certainly enjoy (I think) any comments you might have on my blog stories.

  2. Ken Levine Avatar


    Thanks for your comment on Steve Gordon. Would love to talk to you more about him. Would you mind emailing me? Thanks.

    Great blog.


    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      Ken – I e-mailed you but notice your blog url says keenlevine.blogspot.com but it is kenlevine.blogspot.com Keen is a nice twist but does not reach the blog which is very interesting to visit.

  3. Scott Yorg Avatar
    Scott Yorg

    I forgot how humble you are – I love it!!!

    Congrats for Kareem!


    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      I’m great at humility! It’s one of my strongest suits. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Julie Darsses Avatar
    Julie Darsses

    Jack, you have your million dollars: beautiful Riley-Moon,

  5. Geoffrey J Felder Avatar
    Geoffrey J Felder

    Dear Mr. Byrne,
    Are you the Jack Byrne whose agency created the Barney’s clothes ad “Men Of Destiny” in 1970? I was in that commercial, at the age of eight, and was curious… Thanks…
    Geoffrey J Felder

    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      Yes I am that Jack Byrne and now I am going through a senior moment but I think you played Fiorello LaGuardia.
      Excellently! (in fact whatever role you played it excellently because you five 8 year olds were the best. You do know the commercial
      won entry into the CLIO Hall of Fame the only retail or regional spot to be accepted at the time.
      Please get in touch – it would be so nice to remember some of those times together especially since there is so much history
      attached to it all.
      Thanks for contacting me.
      Jack Byrne

  6. Vin Avatar

    The Barneys Men of Destiny commercial was filmed on my family’s stoop in Brooklyn. Do you know if a copy of the commercial is available on the Internet?

    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      Dear Vin,
      How nice to hear from you. I am sorry but I have no knowledge of a copy on the internet. A few decades ago, I gave a 2-inch tape copy to Barney’s but I suspect that is gone. It was a classic and is in the International CLIO Hall of Fame but we were careless in saving things in those days. Would you mind telling me the Street and perhaps cross street of the town house – I would love to be able to include the block in dialogue. For some reason, President Street, is in my mind but I have no real recollection. I presume you read “Even Then He Knew” and know some of the dramatic stories surrounding this spot. Recently I heard from Geoffrey Felder who played LaGuardia in it and coincidently his mother had played the wife of the mayor in the Broadway Musical, “Fiorello.” Thanks for inquiring.

  7. Karen Falk Avatar
    Karen Falk

    Mr. Byrne:

    Greetings from the Henson Archives. I have some files relating to a project Jim Henson did with Inpro in 1963 for a Bell Systems seminar (a robot). I have a couple questions – can you email me?
    Karen Falk

    1. Jack Byrne Avatar
      Jack Byrne

      Yes. My e-mail is vevw@nyc.rr.com. However, I have no immediate recollection of the Henson puppet.
      Jack Byrne

  8. Marilyn Skylar Avatar

    Jack…I was looking up information and came upon your blog. Good reading! I am writing a biography of my husband as he is unable to do so. He is post stroke 8 years ago. Luckily I have a great memory and I have even included a brief encounter with you and your wife at the Greenbrier. Right now, I need your help. Do you recall the date of the Griswold-Eshlemen purchase of Baker Byrne & Weiss? That was the start of David’s weekly commute to the BA. There are so few of us left to consult I was delighted to find you. Do you remember David Skylar? Check out his 85th birthday tribute on U.Tube. He quit GE when he was offered vice. chairman rather than President. Long story. Anyway, if you can please email me at mjskylar@yahoo.com if you have any remembrances of DS or dates. Hope you are well and still kicking….MJ….

  9. Vera Garguilo Avatar
    Vera Garguilo

    Hi this is Vera Garguilo who worked for you in the 70’s at the 919 Third Ave. office. Would love to touch base with you. Please contact me at 914-961-7155. Would love to know how you are – because of all my great memories working with you and our group.
    Best regards and hope to hear from you.
    With fond memories,
    Vera G

  10. Vera Garguilo Avatar
    Vera Garguilo

    Hi this is Vera Garguilo who worked for you in the 70’s at the 919 Third Ave. office. Would love to touch base with you. Please contact me at 914-961-7155. Would love to know how you are – because of all my great memories working with you and our group.
    Best regards and hope to hear from you.
    Vera G

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