Friday, August 3, 2012

Some thoughts on 51 years in the business.

I've been making money in the advertising business since 1961.

That's right, 1961.

I was three years old and was cast in a commercial with a bunch of other kids for a cereal from Nabisco. Then, because I was cute with big blue eyes and platinum blonde hair, I was cast in another commercial for another Nabisco cereal.

In this one I was the sole on-camera talent. I had to sit and eat a bowl of cereal with vigor. That is, I had to look like I liked it.

I made about $4,000 for these two jobs. Which wasn't bad money in 1961 when the average teacher made just about $5,000, a VW Beetle cost $1,800 and the minimum wage was $1/hour.

I also had to join SAG and AFTRA.

However, at the point where I started making money, my parents feared I would become "one of those kids," so I retired having just two spots under my belt. Maybe I lost my cuteness 51 years ago.

In any event, I went 20 years--from 1961 to 1981 before I re-entered the business. I was fresh out of college then and began writing catalogs for Montgomery Ward.

So, when I say I've been in advertising virtually my whole life, I mean it.

It can be a frustrating business at times. And I know I have friends who castigate me for being such a curmudgeon.

The fact is, I have intermittent serotonin issues and stupidity-tolerance issues.

In all, advertising has been good to me. I've been able to buy my home, send my kids to private schools and private colleges, and lead, generally speaking, a fulfilling life with travel, comforts and even a luxury or two. Most important, my kids have found ways to do what they love. Advertising helped make that happen.

Sure, I wish my 401K were larger. Sure I wish I had more job security. I wish a lot of things.

But mostly, I've enjoyed these years.

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