Thursday, October 8, 2009


Decades ago my father was the Chairman of the Board of a top-twenty agency in New York, an agency that leased something like four floors in what was then the just-opened Pan Am building. (It's now the Met Life building)

The agency leased four floors but only needed three and so, sub-let one of their floors to another business. Now, here's the sad part, I remember my father saying to me, "Shithead," (that was one of his terms of endearment) "we made more money in real estate last year than we made in advertising."

And this was in the early 70s, back when "the business was good."



jeaves said...

My father said a similar thing to me about the phone company Bell Canada he careered with. This was the same company that owned Nortel until Nortel became too big and owned them in the day. Back when long distance was $1.50 a minute they must have been making craploads in real estate then.

Teenie said...

Our agency rents out a pair of impossible-to-buy season hockey tickets. I wonder how much revenue we get from that...?

Kelly said...


The consolation is that now you can't make a thing in real estate, either.

& I'm glad you turned out to be you in spite of such endearments.


If they were loaning them to business owners small enough (medium enough) to be Wowed, then yes, 'cept that business wouldn't be what those big boys have in mind.

When you could pay for them yourself but don't, you're too jaded to exchange line brawls and slap shots for taglines and photo shoots.



bob hoffman said...


I worked in the Pan Am building a million years ago. Was it K&E? If it was, I used to ride the elevator with him.

george tannenbaum said...

Shit, Bob. Yes, it was K&E. My father had been a big deal there. He was forced out to run the Chicago office in 1978, then out all together later that year.

He had a happy ending. He wound up teaching advertising at Northwestern, which he did until he died.