Monday, May 21, 2012

Howard Luck Gossage, Part 1.

Yesterday "The New York Times" reported on two deaths that caught my attention. One involved former Bee Gee, Robin Gibb. This got a huge amount of play and airtime. It seems half of my Facebook friends were affected by the loss.

The death notice I found most important however had nothing to do with disco. It was the obituary of Crawford Greenwalt, Jr., an archeologist who uncovered the ancient Lydian city and home of Croesus, Sardis.

Greenwalt's work led to the uncovering of over 14,000 objects from the Lydian era, including the remains of a soldier attempting to fend off the blows that killed him.

I think about the differences in these two obituaries as I begin to read Steve Harrison's new book on Howard Luck Gossage "Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man."

Jeff Goodby said this about Gossage: "The best of Gossage is the best advertising ever done..." Alex Bogusky said this: "You can't overstate the influence of Gossage on the early work of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. We used to sit around and wonder 'What would Gosage do?"

Today few have heard of Gossage. Few know his work.

I'll be writing more about Gossage and Harrison's book over the next few weeks.

In the meantime,  buy the book.


Anonymous said...


You might want to also check out the fantastic 'Book of Gossage', and we're in the final stages of a documentary on the great man which is due out at the start of next year -

All the best

Ashley, Director

Rich Siegel said...

Didn't Gossage pitch for the Yankees in the late 70's?
He had some heat, if I recall.

Jeff said...

I brought up Gossage in one of my Ad courses. Blank stares from the rest of the room, including the professor. He's the Tesla of Advertising.

Raj said...


You are right. He isn't known much. I am from India but not from advertising industry. By the way Tesla would also draw blank stares from ad people.:-)