Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A reflection in a broken mirror.

I've been writing Ad Aged now for six years and one day. Over 3300 posts. That's about a post and a half a day for six years.

I'm sorry for those half-posts. Sorry they sucked. Or they were incomplete. Or dumb. Or snide or just a rant.

Among those 3300 posts, I've also tested out a bit of my personal writing. A book about my father. Another about my Uncle Slappy. And a third about a bar I frequent, The Tempus Fugit. I suppose these posts have been self-indulgent. They neither talked about advertising nor did they elucidate any larger idea. They've just been stories. Incidental stories.

Some of my posts I've been proud of and I somewhat egotistically believe that in a fairer world they would have gained wider readership than Ad Aged has afforded them. They would have put me into the position of being an industry "thought-leader." I would therefore be speaking at conferences and flying hither and yon and sitting once again in a big office spouting rather than at a messy table working. I would be making more money and doing less work and be closer to retirement than I am now.

But that's ok, too. You play the cards you get dealt and make the most of them. That's the game.

Of all the work I've done on my career, Ad Aged has probably been the most important. It's helped "build my brand." Something I couldn't do just based on bluster, bombast and braggadocio.

For encouraging me to write Ad Aged, I thank my great friend and great ex-partner Tore Claesson. Tore is an amazing man and an amazing talent. If you're in the position to need someone who can make lightning strike, call him. He'll make it strike for you.

I also--as much as I'm loathe to--thank the agencies I've worked for during the past six years. I'm sure they have stipulations in their one-sided "at will" bull-shit provisos that would bar me from expressing myself as openly as I do here. But aside from a couple gentle hand-slaps when I likely got a bit over-heated I've been left free to write as I please.

This is probably more due to neglect and stupidity than largesse, but I still appreciate it. So, thank you.

I'd also like to acknowledge and thank the people I've met through Ad Aged. Terry Levenberg and his wonderful wife Rhona and his kids Kyle and Amy. Bob Hoffman with whom I have shared pastrami and Dr. Brown's. Dave Trott whom I feel I know though we've only ever exchanged email. Of course Rich Siegel at Round Seventeen. And the folks at Sell!Sell! A couple others too. Ben Kay, Vinny Warren, George Parker.

My incredibly patient wife, Laura, I also thank. She understands my writing compulsion and attends to morning tasks like walking Whiskey so I can type. Also my daughter Hannah who has followed Ad Aged on four continents and Sarah who follows it somewhat less assiduously from the Hub of the universe, Boston.

I realize writing and being candid is swimming against the tide.

But swimming against the tide builds your muscles and your character.

So, I'll keep paddling.

Thanks for reading.


Tore Claesson said...

George, I've read each and every one of your posts.
Loved most of them. And I love you dearly, every day.

Thank you for speaking so highly of me today and many other times before.

Today was especially timely as this week 2 promising and sizable projects I was supposed to start work on suddenly went up in smoke, vanished, evaporated... So here I am, with a totally blank itinerary, nothing on the horizon for the moment.

But I do, as usual, look forward to your next post.



One of the few things I do every day (besides poop and fret over baseball) is read Ad Aged. Wouldn't be a real day without it.

Rich Siegel said...

This was beginning to sound like a sign off,
I'm glad it wasn't.

Chopped Liver

TheBigMacGaul said...

I've been reading your blog, Bob's, Dave Trott's and Sell Sell's since years now. All of you inspired me to leave my sucky job at an agency to open my own sucky agency. Thanks for writing!

Rob said...

Thank you for writing.

sheriffshooter said...

i second bob. yours, TAC's and dave trott's are the only blogs i read on a daily basis, and have the past 4 years or so.

Sell! Sell! said...

Thanks for the mention George. Your blog is one of the few that proves there are still honest, decent people in advertising - who can genuinely write. Please keep up the great work.

Mark Wanczak said...


I've read your writing everyday since I was recommended your blog a few years ago. Thank you for churning it out everyday and for informing me of the other great ad bloggers out there.


dave trott said...

For me your blog is like BBC speech based radio.
You're the only person who writes more than once a day.
So I tune in 2 or 3 times a day.
I like the variety, when you (or Bob Hoffman) write about non-advertising things.
I like the quality of the writing at least as much as the content.

Bob said...

I read Ad Aged every morning, and check again in the afternoon for one of your special two-fers. It's one the best blogs of its kind out there. Thanks for your commitment to doing the writing and doing it with honesty and style.

Hannah said...

oh faj